Personality traits of Opposition Party Leaders and Voter Preferences in Zimbabwe

  • Ndimande, Jefferson (Solusi University – Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)


Zimbabwe has seen a steady stream of opposition figures and parties springing up all seeking to unseat Zimbabwe’s strongman-Robert Mugabe. Whilst this can be viewed as an indicator of a healthy democracy, the electorate are faced with deciding which opposition political leader stands out as the best to defeat the incumbent president. The paper is an ongoing study of Bulawayo youth at local universities and tertiary colleges’ perceptions of opposition political leaders in Zimbabwe and explores the traits which are desirable in a candidate. The study employs mixed methods as it combines both quantitative and qualitative approaches as well as public opinion survey amongst youth in Bulawayo’s universities and tertiary institutions. The study explores whether ‘traditional’ values and traits such as integrity, statesman-like qualities, eloquence, empathy, academic credentials, fidelity, diplomacy and honesty are important or not. Data will be gathered over a two month period through focus groups discussions, in-depth interviews, questionnaires, questaviews and one-on-one interviews to be conducted over a two month period.