Poll: Kikwete approval rating dips to 44 per cent DAMAS MWITA Dar es Salaam PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete's popularity has dipped to 44.4 per cent, with the majority of Tanzanians who responded to a new opinion poll saying the fourth phase government has so far failed to improve their living conditions. A previous opinion poll conducted about a year ago put the president's approval rating at 67 per cent. About a third of the respondents in the latest opinion poll said they disapprove of the performance of the entire government currently in office. The findings represent a further significant decline in Mr Kikwete's approval ratings after recording a landslide victory of over 80 per cent of votes cast across the country in the 2005 presidential elections. A total of 1,300 adult Tanzanians from the mainland and Zanzibar were interviewed for the latest opinion poll results unveiled yesterday by the Research and Education for Democracy in Tanzania (REDET). While 44.4 per cent of Tanzanians polled said they ''approved'' of Kikwete's handling of his job as president, another 35 per cent ticked the box showing only ''slight approval'', 18.6 said they ''disapproved'' and two per cent were undecided. The number of Tanzanians who said they disapproved of the president's leadership more than doubled, from just 7.8 per cent recorded last year. Among the sampling of Tanzanians who said they disapprove of Kikwete's leadership, 30.4 per cent said he has failed to improve the people's living conditions, while 21.6 per cent said he has not fulfilled his campaign promises. Other reasons cited for the president's rising disapproval rate include not making keen follow-ups on implementation of government policies (11.6 per cent), appointing shoddy leaders (9.1 per cent), and failing to tackle corruption (5.6 per cent). About 1.8 per cent of the respondents in the sample of those who disapprove of Kikwete said they did not know why, while 19.8 per cent gave other reasons not afore-mentioned. According to REDET co-chairperson Dr Laurean Ndumbaro, the researchers found a direct co-relation between those who approve or disapprove of the president's handling of national affairs and their education levels. Speaking at a news conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Dr Ndumbaro said most of the educated Tanzanians polled expressed disapproval of Kikwete's performance, compared to most of the less-educated respondents who said he was doing a good job. The opinion poll was conducted from October 22 to 28 this year in one district from each of the 26 regions in both mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. On the government as an entity and certain specific public institutions, 33.4 per cent of the respondents said they were not satisfied with the performance of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB). The PCCB�s disapproval rating was followed closely by the entire fourth phase government currently in office, which received a thumbs-down from 32 per cent of Tanzanians polled. About 30 per cent of the respondents said they were not satisfied with the performance of the country's police force, while disapproval ratings for other government institutions were as follows: Judiciary (28.4 per cent), parliament (25 per cent), ministerial cabinet (19.2 per cent) and local government authorities (16.2 per cent). Only 20.2 per cent of respondents stated clearly that they ''approved'' of the current cabinet of ministers, as another 41.4 per cent preferred to say they only ''slightly approved''. The number of people who said they actually ''disapproved'' of the cabinet was again more than double at 19.2 per cent this year, compared to 9.2 per cent last year. Meanwhile, according to the REDET poll, the approval rating of Zanzibar president Amani Abeid Karume also slumped to 35.5 per cent this year from last year's 47.8 per cent. However, a good 40.7 per cent of respondents said they ''approved'' the performance of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), while just 19 per cent ticked in favour of the opposition political parties. The majority of pollsters who said they ''disapproved'' of the opposition parties said they were put off by internal party leadership squabbles, lack of good policies, and what they perceived as a general lack of ability to lead the country. On the main problems facing Tanzanians at present, the respondents cited poor services in social sectors like health, education, water, electricity and roads (30.8 per cent); rising costs of living (28.3 per cent); unemployment (7.4 per cent); corruption (6 per cent); current leadership (3.9 per cent); bad government contracts (3.1 per cent); and others.