Census Enumerators up in arms with government over payments

“We are yet to know the figures we are supposed to get. We were only given $150 after the completion of the census count. We are worried as you know the officials are pressing to have us get same wages when others counted a lot of people while others were working in difficult circumstances in rural areas walking long distances,” one enumerator told Radio Vop on condition of anonymity.

Zimbabwe held its 2002 census and the population was adjudged to be 11.2 million up by 1.2 million from the 1992 census. Officials had said population growth rates had been slowing in southern Africa including Zimbabwe as AIDS pandemic hit hard the region.

Zimbabwe had also had a lot of people fleeing the country over the years on political reasons as well as economic after the economy collapsed.

The census will cost about $40 million, with donors chipping in $12.6 million, the finance ministry said.

The Finance ministry has said the last census cost the country $40 million while donors chipped in with $12 million of the amount. President Robert Mugabe,88, urged Zimbabweans to participate honestly in the census count and said the 2002 census did not please him as figures showed that so many people were dying of HIV or AIDS.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said a population census is a ‘rich source of information’ that enables the country to plan and strategise. In apparent reference to the problems caused by the army and police in trying to hijack the census, Tsvangirai said a population census had always been done by civilians.

Several thousands of people have complained that this year’s census was not done properly as they were not counted. MDC deputy legal and parliamentary affairs minister, Obert Gutu recently wrote on social sites that his household was not counted. He wrote:”I am told the census is over but my household in Ward 8, Harare, was not enumerated. What exactly is taking place here?”

This year’s census has not also counted Zimbabweans in the diaspora as the government has said it does not have the resources.