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Tanzanian voters vent frustration

Friday, October 23, 2015 - 01:33

Tanzania is one of Africa's most stable nations and its economy is growing. But as it heads to the polls, many feel whoever wins will have a tough task to maintain the upward trend. Ciara Lee reports.

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Ussi Karume is a fishmonger from the islands of Zanzibar. In the semi-autonomous region belonging to Tanzania, many like Karume are gearing up for this weekend's elections. (SOUNDBITE) (Swahili) USSI KARUME, FISHMONGER SAYING: "I think people are being trampled on by the government and the choices that the people make are not respected." The CCM party has ruled Tanzania for five decades and is leading in opinion polls. But it's expected to be a tight race. Main opposition parties have for the first time united behind one presidential candidate, former prime minister Edward Lowassa. Tanzania has been one of Africa's most politically stable nations and its economy is growing. But economist Honest Ngowi says it's not necessarily benefitting the Tanzanian people. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HONEST NGOWI, ECONOMIST SAYING: "The corporates that are driving growth here in the banking sector, in the mining sector, are mainly foreign owned and according to the investment act 1997 investors are allowed to repatriate without any condition all of their income, interest and all this, so the economy may be growing but then the portion of the cake that has been growing may have been growing may not necessarily be consumed here." Tanzania boasts growth of 7 percent a year, yet poverty remains stubbornly high. Campaigning has exposed public frustration. Boasting huge gas and mineral reserves and sandwiched between two African trade blocs, Tanzania could be a regional powerhouse. Instead, its railways are creaking and power cuts force industry to rely on costly back-up generators. Many feel regardless of who wins on Sunday, they will have a big task ahead.

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Tanzanian voters vent frustration

Friday, October 23, 2015 - 01:33