Afrobarometer says PP lost direction in many aspects

The former governing party People’s Party  (PP)administration  lost the trust and  confidence of the majority of Malawians according to a report released by Afrobarometer following a survey carried out in March just before the May 20 tripartite elections.

Afrobarometer released the report on Wednesday in Blantyre which stated the PP government administration’s approval ratings in many aspects of issues had gone down in March this year than 2012 in the same month.

Tsoka: Survey results
Tsoka: Survey results
PP leader Joyce Banda and her 2014 presidential running mate Sosten Gwengwe
PP leader Joyce Banda and her 2014 presidential running mate Sosten Gwengwe

The report stated that this might have led to its presidential candidate ex-Malawi leader Joyce Banda to lose during the elections while serving as the country’s head of state.

In his presentation, Afrobarometer Senior Research Fellow Dr Maxton Tsoka of Chancellor College’s Centre for Social Research (CSR) said key findings of the survey revealed that 78 percent from a sample of 2400 respondents across the country revealed indicated  that Malawi was going in the wrong direction.

“Although the majority agree that the country is going the wrong direction, there are some differences, region, age group, education level and sex,” states the report.

“Urbanites assessment is the worst (84 percent) compared to those from rural areas (77 percent) and peri-urban areas (66 percent). The differences are pronounced by region; Central Region (83 percent), Southern Region (79 percent), Northern Region (51 percent).”

The majority of the respondents also had poor ratings for the PP administration on worsened economic conditions, high lived poverty, poor management of economic problems, poor governance performance.

“Comparing 2012 and 2014 assessments, people think the government’s performance had deteriorated with disapproval ratings increasing particularly in managing economy (41 percent), fighting corruption (40 percent), reducing crime (34 percent), addressing education needs (33 percent) and improving basic health services,” it states.

The survey also faulted PP’s administration on institutional trust, performance and corruption with 80 percent trusting religious leaders and Malawi Defence Force while the former President and her party were least trusted at 29 and 34 percent respectively.

Tsoka said the Afrobarometer survey, which is a non-political African based network of researchers, should be trusted despite basing its findings on 2,400 because it used what he termed probability proportional to size sample across the country.

The event was attended by civil society representatives, National Independent Party president Helene Singh who also contested in the Presidential Elections, Blantyre City Deputy Mayor and media academics.

Singh, Nations Publications Limited managing Editor Edward Chitsulo and Dr Regson Chaweza of Chancellor Economics Department were panel discussants.

Afrobarometer, which will release other findings next month and November, is funded by DFID, USAID, Cida, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, World Bank.

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