The 2022 population and housing census has started countrywide with enumerators visiting households and institutions to gather information.
Zimbabwe conducts a population census every 10 years and the 2022 survey will be the fifth since the country’s independence from Britain in 1980
The enumeration exercise will run until April 30, 2022.
In an interview with CITE, Ward 4 Councillor Silas Chigora urged residents to participate fully in the enumeration process, as it impacted planning and fund allocation to the city.
“It is important that as communities, cities and as a country we know how many we are. The information gathered is important for planning purposes and most importantly for resource allocations from the National and Local authorities,” he said.
Chigora said the census speaks to devolution, fund allocations and development.
“While voter registration is important for political decisions and power, the census is centred on development issues. The number of clinics, the number of schools, colleges, universities, and the general infrastructure needed for the development of a city is determined by its population,” said the city councillor.
“As residents of Bulawayo, let’s take this census seriously and respond positively to the questions asked by enumerators. Some questions relate to people living with disabilities, albinism and other special groups, unemployment and educational levels. I implore all of us to be counted as it is for our own good.
Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT), Director General, Taguma Mahonde, noted that during the enumeration exercise, ZIMSTAT enumerators will visit all households and institutions across the country asking questions pertaining to social economic and demographic characteristics of households.
The enumerators will have with them their identity cards and other branded material and Mahone requested cooperation from citizens to enable enumerators to undertake their work.
“In undertaking the exercise, enumerators will direct questions to heads of households or their designated representatives with all information relating to persons who sent the Census night in the household,” he said.
“Important to note is that all individuals who will have spent the census night in hotels, lodges, hospitals, police stations, prisons and other collective institutions shall be enumerated on the census night, including those in transit and other floating population.”
The census is held in line with the Census and Statistics Act Chapter 10:29 and the ZIMSTAT director-general assured people that all information collected during the enumeration exercise will be confidential and is to be used for statistical purposes only.
“Let us make the 2022 Population and housing census a success. Be sure to be counted,” he said.
For the first time, ZIMSTAT enumerators will be using a technique called Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) for data collection.
CAPI is a face-to-face data collection method in which the interview uses a mobile phone, tablet or computer to record answers given during the interview.
Meanwhile, some observers have pointed out how ZIMSTAT is ill-prepared for the process worsened by the rains and weather, which is not favourable for movement.
“Most modalities are half baked. The enumerators are expected to use internet data for the tablets but no money has been deposited in the accounts for that. Teachers now have to continue subsidizing government expenditure,” said some enumerators.