SYNOVATE THEATRICS ARE QUESTIONABLE! (By Rutashubanyuma Nestory is a public policy analyst based in Arusha.) Of lately Synovate pollster has released her opinion poll but the most important news anticipated by the electorate was the updated stature of political parties in this election. The electorate was eager to learn who is who in the political landscape but that vital information went lacuna at the time Synovate has already pocketed USD 20 Millions for civics education! In Kenya Synovate has been busier on monthly basis informing voters there the political temperature. But here Synovate is deigning at us! In the past, both the privately owned Synovate and the government controlled Redet were pogoing to inform us that CCM and in particular president Kikwete were still very popular but now those fizzy salvos seem to have all of sudden gone quiet. Polling statistics in both the USA and Kenya have always forewarned us that during economic hard times political parties in power tend to lead opinion polls whenever voters minds are elsewhere and the election is miles away, and the kings of opinion polls tend to slide big time no sooner the election hour nears. Once behind in polls two months before the election there is no leeway of recovery as both Hillary Clinton in 2008 Democratic Party primaries and Kalonzo Musokya in Kenyan general election of 2007 can sourly testify. For such seminal know-how, we expect CCM and particular president Kikwete to backslide in opinion polls big time as we get closer to the election hour. This could well be informative of the motives behind the disquieting silence that has befallen both Synovate and Redet. The hopeful multitudes that have always greeted Dr. Slaa presidential campaigns are very difficult to disguise and dismiss forthwith as an ephemeral euphoria, and Opinion polls spin doctors know this full well. At the bottom of all this is credibility of both Synovate and Redet is under spotlight. Are they serving the transient interests of the status quo or are they here to serve the larger and enduring public good? After Mr. Freeman Mbowe had remonstrated that Synovate had syncopated the most recent polls findings that showed president Kikwete was trailing his most formidable rival Dr. Wilbard Slaa by three percentage points, the subsequent Synovate response has been evasive at best and unaccountable at worst. Synovate claims she has not been gauging of electoral temperature a task she is planning to do just before the election! She also proclaims that her polling peeks are done quarterly but the unanswered question has to be can a pollster really carry out statistical sampling without metering the political temperature? With alacrity, I must conclude it will be an abomination and pathetic. I find Mr. Mbowes barbs pointed at Synovate well intentioned and have a firm foundation that Synovate had redacted her polling findings in order to staunch the haemorrhages now inevitably traumatizing CCM and president Kikwete in particular. If you want to comprehend the mood of the electorate dissect CCMs recent moves. CCMs fondness with polling numbers has worn thin with the election hour calling! The stark reality is CCM abundantly knows any news of the party and in particular president Kikwete backsliding in opinion polls will only rejuvenate an already jaded electorate to end their inexorable economic pain, wholly a CCM affliction, by streaking faster to the Chadema salvation. Before the end of Houses term, CCM had promised a mother of all battles but now she is delivering a mother of all retreats and the explanation is she is behind in public opinions. How can we extenuate senior cabinet ministers who are importuning their juniors in local government to edge out rivals on flimsy excuses now infamously dubbed CCM technicalities? One could have easily expected senior cabinet ministers would be the ones relishing the lists of legitimacy where rivals would be trampled but now the ministers want to lead voters by default! When it comes to account themselves in public debates before the electorate and against the opposition CCM is a no show up because she can not extricate herself from a myriad of graft scandals. Without doubt, both Redet and Synovate have a serious case to answer.