HARARE – An estimated 83% of Zimbabwe urban voters opt for aspiring candidates with clear policies rather than handouts according to an Afrobarometer poll.
The latest poll also showed that aspiring candidates offering freebies tend to have support in rural areas.
Afrobarometer survey results released Wednesday show voting trends are influenced more by politics than giveaways, though regionalism remains a factor.
“Most Zimbabweans say they vote for candidates whose policies they agree with, rather than for candidates who give them gifts and money or who belong to the same ethnic group or religious faith.
“But a majority of citizens also say they favour candidates from their own province, suggesting political preferences along regional lines.
“More than eight in 10 Zimbabweans (83%) say they vote for candidates whose policies they agree with, rather than for candidates who give them gifts and money (33%) or belong to the same ethnic group (29%) or religious faith (20%). But more than half (54%) of citizens also ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that they vote for candidates from their own province,” the Afrobarometer report reads.
Zimbabwe’s election season has been marred by reports of vote buying, with candidates especially from the ruling ZANU PF donating all manner of goodies from T-shirts to cereal.
Zimbabwe is set to hold its general election in 2023 and already there are reports of some political parties distributing goodies in rural areas for votes.