Dar es Salaam — Stakeholders yesterday reacted on the decline of President John Magufuli's popularity from 71 per cent last year to 55 per cent this year, noting that it reflected life hardships of the people.
Stakeholders including, politicians, academicians and media experts attributed the decline of powers vested to the president and increase in the level of intimidations in the society.
The findings of the study titled Speaking Truth to Power? Citizens' Views on Politics in Tanzania were released yesterday by Twaweza, independent research organization after analyzing opinions from 1,241 respondents across Mainland Tanzania collected through mobile phones.
Debating the findings, Chadema national chairman Freeman Mbowe said the President's popularity decline reflected the hardship of people's lives despite reports of rapid economic growth
"The situation could be worse if political parties, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), religious institutions would have been free to execute their activities," he said.
ACT Wazalendo secretary of Ideology, public relations and communications, Ado Shaibu said the President's popularity would have declined to 20 per cent if political parties were free to rallies and other activities.
"Legislators facing serious hardship at their respective constituencies. CCM is facing tougher times as their rural popularity is also reported to significantly decline as compared to 2017," he said.
JamiiForums co-founder Maxence Mello said since citizens are living in fear, then there were possibility the actual ranking of the president's popularity could stand at below 50 per cent.
Dr Vicencia Shule of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) said the findings shows that powers vested to the presidency were declining.
"This is because of the way the women are perceived by the Head of State. Since study has shown increasing women's understanding of their rights as compared to men, undermining the women would definitely reduce his rankings," she said.
The CCM secretary of Ideology and publicity, Humphrey Polepole said President Magufuli popularity ratings will increase significantly by end of this year.
"I call upon Twaweza to conduct a similar study by end of the year after the government has made significant progress in the implementation of priority projects," he said.