The quality of life for a large majority of Tanzanians has been growing from bad to worse over the past few years, a situation that poses serious challenges to economic planners and political leaders.
Findings in a recently concluded survey show that hunger, high cost of living, religious conflicts, unemployment and education are key problems the people face today.
The survey, launched yesterday by Ipsos-Synovate Tanzania, dubbed “The National Spec Barometer” involved some 2,000 respondents from 23 regions and out of these, 50 per cent said lack of food is the key problem facing them while 44 per cent said high cost of living was their major concern. Some 43 per cent pointed at religious conflicts.
Most Tanzanians, according to the poll, expect the government not only to prioritise basic services and amenities like education; health and water but address religious conflicts as well.
And then, 34 per cent said unemployment was the most serious problem while 30 per cent cited access to quality education as their major problem.
Corruption stood at 23 per cent while 22 per cent said electricity, roads and housing were the biggest issue.
“When observing the trends in 2011 up to now, it is interesting to note that religious conflicts have become a reality for Tanzanians, a concern which was not observed before.” reads the report.
Corruption and inflation which were the key problem in 2011 are currently not perceived as being a key challenge to most Tanzanians.
Asked what issues they think Tanzanians want their leaders to address, over 50 per cent of the respondents said their preferred political parties have not addressed issues that are most close to the people. Health, education, employment and food security are the key areas which the public believes need to be given attention.
Looking at between 2011 and now, the government performance on key issues has dropped except on the area of the government’s plan to write a new Constitution in which there is a 14 per cent increase in the way the State is perceived to be performing much better.
Inflation and provision of health service are seen as deteriorating quality-wise. In the 2011 barometer, some 57 per cent of the respondents pointed fingers at poor provision of health services compared to 56 per cent in the latest poll.
Some 47 per cent of the respondents were more concerned about inflation in 2011 compared to 20 per cent this year. The government’s performance in crime control has dropped from 81 per cent in 2011 to 73 per cent in 2012, followed by access to quality education from 70 per cent in 2011 to 66 per cent in 2012.
Asked how they approve the overall performance of most of the public institutions in the last months of 2012,the respondents said the performance approval rank of key institution in the country remained basically constant but with a tendency to decline rather than increase. The government rating stood at 77 per cent in 2012 compared to 81 per cent in 2011, The President’s Office performed a little better in 2012 with 79 percent against 76 rating in 2011.
The Prime Minister’s Office performance declined from 84 per cent in 2011 to 78 per cent in 2012 while the Vice-President’s Office went up a little, from 61 per cent in 2011 to 67 per cent in 2012 while the performance of the Speaker of the National Assembly moved from 62 per cent in 2011 to 69 per cent in 2012.
People’s trust in Parliament has remained almost constant with 78 per cent in 2011 against 77 in 2012. Trust in MPs remained the same at 59 per cent while trust in courts plunged from 55 per cent in 2011 to 50 per cent in 2012.Trust in media also tumbled from 87 per cent in 2011 to 85 per cent in 2012 while only 49 per cent of the respondents in 2012 approved the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) compared to 51 in 2011.
At least 70 per cent of the respondents approved local government authority in 2012 compared to 64 per cent in 2011.
Asked if the level of corruption in Tanzania has changed in the past six months, 4 out of 10 Tanzanians are of the opinion that corruption in the country has increased while 30 per cent believed it has remained the same. On average, government institutions and key personalities commitment to fight against corruption have not changed from 2011.
The Police and the Judiciary have the lowest scores in commitment against corruption Police take the crown for the institution is perceived to be most corrupt with 33 per cent saying it is rotten while courts and the health sector come closely second at 16 per cent.