Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe remains the most important public figure in the country despite mounting criticism about his three decade long rule, a survey has revealed.
According to the survey commissioned by Afrobarometer and conducted by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) in November last year, Mugabe is trusted by 70 percent of people in rural areas and 45 percent in urban areas.
President Mugabe is still popular and remains the right man for the job
Mugabe (91) was also found to be more popular than public institutions in the country.
Opposition parties like the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had significantly lower levels of trust, the survey says.
Afrobarometer said 2 400 adults were polled across Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces.
Women, at 64 percent, who constitute the majority of voters had slightly more trust in Mugabe than men (62 percent).
Lawyer Alex Magaisa said the results showed Mugabe had maintained his support base following the 2013 elections, which came after a four-year-long coalition government.
Magaisa is a former advisor to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who served as prime minister in the coalition.
But he warned that those in Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party hoping to push him out of power in the next elections in 2018 would likely now be disappointed.
Mugabe will be 94 in 2018 and still eligible for another term under the country’s new constitution.
“This survey result will be used as confirmation that President Mugabe is still popular and remains the right man for the job,” Magaisa said in a blog post.
During the survey, the lead question was “How much do you trust each of the following, or have not heard enough about them to say?”.