'Mugabe wields too much power' – Poll

President Robert Mugabe continues to wield enormous power despite the Global Political Agreement (GPA) stipulating that he should share it with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a survey released this week reveals.

Nearly two years after the formation of the coalition government, a number of GPA issues remain unimplemented as squabbles take centre stage.

Survey findings on the performance of the inclusive government undertaken by a Harare think tank, Mass Public Opinion Institute – aimed at gauging public sentiment on the coalition – revealed that the majority of Zimbabweans felt that the government has failed to ensure a fair distribution of power, with Mugabe wielding excessive power compared to his counterparts in the coalition.

While a large majority, 73%, of the people surveyed, felt that the economy had improved in the past 12 months, there were concerns that Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara were very unco-operative.

"Power was not shared equally in this inclusive government as an overwhelming 76% believe that the President has real executive power compared to the prime minister," reads part of the findings of the survey conducted between August 18 and August 23 2010.

This was before Tsvangirai wrote to SA President Jacob Zuma, the facilitator in the Zimbabwe crisis, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations, complaining about Mugabe’s unilateralism in the coalition government, specifically his arbitrary appointment of new judges, provincial governors and other senior government employees. The GPA says he should first consult the premier.

Thirty-one percent of the respondents felt that the partners in government were not co-operating, while 25% were in between and 14% felt the partners were working together fairly well. About 16% felt that the inclusive government was working "very well’, 27% felt Zanu-PF was not committed at all to the GNU. Public opinion showed that 11% thought that the MDC-T was not committed at all, while 25% said the MDC-M was also not committed.

On free political activity, 35% of those polled felt the GNU performed badly.