President Jakaya Kikwete remains outstanding in the popularity ranks in Tanzania gaining 62% support according to the professional research agency – Steadman Group – in its quarterly opinion poll. The poll was held from February 13 to 19 and involved 2,000 respondents, distributed across the country. The National Chairman of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) Prof Ibrahim Lipumba and the National Chairman of the opposition CHADEMA party Freeman Mbowe tied at 14% each in the popularity rating.

The poll further showed that Tanzanians were likely to vote for either Maalim Seif Shariff Hamad, the Secretary General of CUF (23%) or Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal, the likely candidate for the ruling CCM party (21%) as the President of Zanzibar. President Karume cannot stand for a third term.

The national soccer team coach Marcio Maximo also received a substantial vote as did CCM Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda.

The main issues of concern

Asked about the main issues which should be tackled immediately, the killing of Albinos came first (39%) and corruption (18%) came second. A little less than 20% said they would like the escalating costs of living to be looked at constructively. On the government’s performance in the last twelve months, 41% approved. Asked whether democracy was effective in the country, 57% said that there were minor problems but 26% said there were major problems.

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