President John Magufuli's popularity falls by 41pc in 2 years

Friday July 6 2018

Tanzanian President John Magufuli. NMG

Tanzanian President John Magufuli's purge on graft and public sector reforms won him plaudits. But his leadership style, which critics say borders on intolerance, is increasingly coming under scrutiny. PHOTO | NMG 

By THE CITIZEN
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Tanzania President John Magufuli’s popularity rating has plummeted by 16 per cent from 71 per cent in 2017 to 55 per cent this year, the latest pollster Twaweza report shows.

Twaweza executive director Aidan Eyakuze says citizen's approval of the performance the no-nonsense president has gone down by a total percentage of 41 since 2016 when the rating stood at 96 per cent.

The report released on Thursday collected opinions from 1,241 respondents from Tanzania Mainland using mobile phones.

“Elderly citizens (71 per cent) are content with the performance of President Magufuli, but only 46 per cent of the citizens aged between 18 and 29 are happy with his performance,” Mr Eyakuze said.

He said women (57 per cent) are content with the president’s performance compared to men, adding that those without formal or primary education (57-58 per cent) approve the president unlike those with secondary education or above (47 per cent).

According to findings, the citizens’ approval in rural areas has sharply declined to 52 per cent as compared to 72 per cent in 2017.

The findings also show that urban approval rate has also declined from 70 per cent in 2017 to 59 per cent.

However, report noted that the popularity of MPs and councillors has also declined significantly.

The main opposition leader, Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe said the decline in the president's ratings reflects the hardships that citizens are experiencing.

Mr Magufuli has been accused of cracking down on dissent and freedom of expression since taking office in late 2015.

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