Tanzania: Magufuli's Popularity Ratings Would Be Worse Had There Been Freedom of Expression, Claims Mbowe

Dubbed the bulldozer, Tanzania under President John Magufuli tutelage is slowly reshaping how the future of regional mega projects will be determined (file photo).

Dar es Salaam — Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe has said the decline in ratings of President John Magufuli's popularity only reflected hardships that citizens experience.

Mr Mbowe made the observation on Thursday, July 5, when debating study findings from the voice of citizens by Twaweza that showed that there was a significant decline of the president's popularity from 71 per cent recorded in 2017 to 55 per cent in 2018.

Debating the findings, Mr Mbowe, who also doubles as the Leader of Official Opposition in Parliament, said the government was releasing actual statistics of the economy, noting that those highlighted as government priorities, didn't reflect the actual priorities.

"Rural Electrification Agency (REA), infrastructure development and health services are not the government priorities," he said, adding.

"REA for instance received only 31 per cent of all funds allocated to implement the rural electrification projects in the last fiscal year amid reports that the projects were the government priorities."

Mr Mbowe, who is also the MP for Hai Constituency said the president's popularity ratings would have been worse had political parties, Civil Society Organisations, religious institutions had been left to freely execute their institutional activities.

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