Local government elections survey report: The uncertainty of 2018

Introduction

This report presents the findings of the local government elections survey conducted by the We Pay You Deliver (WPYD) Consortium. The survey focused on three issues concerning local government elections namely the context, awareness and expectations and process dynamics. Thus, the survey intended to find out the perceptions of eligible voters on the forthcoming 2018 elections, though focusing on council elections.

Why the focus on local government elections? First, critical services such as water, sanitation, health, transport and education among others are functions of local authorities. Second, the WPYD project is centred on harnessing citizen demand for improved service delivery and transparent use of public resources. Thus, it becomes of strategic importance to understand the views of citizens on the process of electing city leaders and how cities should be managed. Third, the harmonisation of elections in Zimbabwe led to council elections being overshadowed by presidential elections. Such a change undermines a vital process that defines the success of a nation and the delivery of vital human development services – the local government elections. Local government is the third tier of government that is most close to citizens and it is fundamental in promoting socio-economic and political development. In this regard, prioritising local government elections becomes indispensable.

The survey was conducted in six (6) cities namely Bulawayo, Harare, Chitungwiza, Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo between August and October 2017.11 A total of ten organisations collaborated in the survey. These are Danish Church Aid (DCA), Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), Harare Residents Trust (HRT), Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA), Habakkuk Trust, Women’s Institute for Leadership Development, Gweru Residents Forum (GRF), Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust (CHITREST), Zimbabwe Women Resources Centre Network and Diakonia. A total of 3,640 respondents (aged 18 and above) participated in the survey. The survey was conducted in the context of the WPYD project. In this regard, the survey focus and methodology were influenced by data needs of the WPYD project.

Source: We Pay You Deliver Consortium

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