Acting Finance Minister Gorden Moyo told Radio VOP on Wednesday that he had written to Defence and State Security ministers seeking them to implement the directive.
“Cabinet yesterday agreed that the number of the military personnel in the census was shocking and therefore ordered its reduction from 10 000 to 1 571. The cabinet allocated 292 officers to the Zimbabwe Prison Services, 541 Zimbabwe Republic Police 467 Zimbabwe National Army and 271 to the Central Intelligence Organisation. This has been the tradition and it’s not new,” he said.
“We want to demilitarise and depoliticise this process. This is in line with SADC guidelines and principles of running a Census,” Moyo added.
Moyo had postponed registration of enumerators for census after it had been discovered that 10 000 soldiers had been registered. About 31 000 people are needed for the process nationwide.
In Masvingo soldiers blocked census workshops demanding to be registered.
“I will this afternoon visit training centres where enumerators are being trained and assess the situation,” said Moyo.
“If i find soldiers or any irregularity …I will be left with no choice but to approach President Robert Mugabe who is the Commander in chief of the security forces to order his people to go back to their barracks,” he added.
President Robert Mugabe is expected to officially launch the fourth national census since independence in 1980, August 15.