FORMER Ugandan rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army spokesperson and Zanu PF public relations consultant, David Nyekorach Matsanga, has emerged from the woodwork to cobble together a dubious survey claiming President Emmerson Mnangagwa will win 70% of the vote if elections were to be held today ahead of the make-or-break polls on July 30.
By Kudzai Kuwaza
Matsanga’s phony survey resembles those which used to be done by the University of Zimbabwe lecturer Joseph Kurebwa on the eve of elections predicting former president Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF victories. The surveys were later exposed by the Zimbabwe Independent to be Central Intelligence organisation (CIO) fabrications to justify election manipulation and fraud.
Under the auspices of the shadowy Pan African Forum, Matsanga’s survey claims if the country holds elections now, Mnangagwa would get 70% of the vote, with MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa taking 24%. It further claims that former vice-president and National People’s Party president Joice Mujuru would garner just 1% of the vote.
The survey’s findings were conveniently released on the eve of Mnangagwa’s proclamation of the election date. The opinion poll, purportedly conducted between 10 and 19 May, had a total sample of 3 110 people, with a margin area of plus/minus 2%, he said. But eyebrows have been raised given that Nyatsanga has in the past been hired as a public relations consultant for former president Robert Mugabe.
Based in the UK then, he was tasked to revamp Mugabe’s battered image internationally, especially after his disputed re-election in 2002, through his research outfit called Africa Strategy. As part of his services as Zanu PF spin-doctor, Matsanga authored a book titled, Why I Support Mugabe. He also wrote a column in the state-run Herald which first published his survey this week without linking it to him. He, however, fell out of favour with the regime and was barred from entering the country in 2004.