Zim govt seen just wobbling along

HARARE The six month-old power-sharing government enjoys strong support among ordinary Zimbabweans, the head of a leading local political think-tank said last week, but questioned the administrations long term effectiveness.

Chairman of the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) Eldred Masungure told business executives that two surveys carried out by his organisation in April and May showed that the unity government enjoyed healthy support from ordinary citizens, with 80 percent of respondents backing the administration in April. Masungure, who was addressing the annual general meeting of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries in Harare last Wednesday, said it was evident that political parties in the power-sharing administration did not want to see it collapse.

The respected Masunungure, who is also a professor of political science at the University of Zimbabwe, suggested that the power-sharing administration might be able to only stay the course but without necessarily being effective on the ground. It would just “muddle forward” and “wobble along for as long as the coalition partners wanted it to last, he said.

“Up to 80 percent (of respondents in the April survey) said they supported the inclusive government, said Masunugure. “In another survey in May up to two thirds (66 percent) agreed, “creating a coalition government was the best way to resolve

post-election crisis” he said.

Msungunure said 26 percent of people polled in May regarded the coalition government that was formed by President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Muatmbara last February as ineffective and believed that “leaders should have found another way to resolve the crisis.”

The unity government has done well to stabilise the economy and end inflation that was estimated at more than a trillion percent at the height of the countrys economic meltdown last year. But analysts remain doubtful about the administrations long-term effectiveness, citing unending squabbles between Mugabes Zanu (PF) party and Tsvangirais MDC-T party as well as by the coalition governments inability to secure direct financial support from rich Western nations.

Tsvangirai last week urged a summit of Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders that will take place this week to discuss Zimbabwes coalition government, adding that the MDC was getting frustrated because of Mugabes refusal to resolve several outstanding issues from last years power-sharing agreement. But Masunungure did not see the administration collapsing yet, saying that none of the coalition partners appeared to want an early exit” from the marriage of convenience.

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