‘Arguments on Byo population and registered voters not backed by scientific evidence’

Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) Matabeleland regional officer, Ndodana Ndlovu, has said some of the arguments on Bulawayo population and number of registered voters were not backed by scientific evidence.

The 2022 Population Census preliminary results released this week by the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (ZIMSTAT), have confirmed the low number of registered voters in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province.

According to ZIMSTAT Bulawayo’s population remained almost stagnant for the past 10 years registering a marginal growth of just 2 percent from 653,337 in 2012 to 665,940 in 2022, a development which has puzzled many stakeholders in the city who had estimated the city’s population to be at over 1 million as back as 2013.

On the other hand, statistics released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) last month indicate that Bulawayo which has the second lowest number of voters after Matabeleland South stands at 270, 914.

“Yes, the people in Bulawayo could be one million or so, but I always think that Bulawayo as a metropolitan province, its population is very fluid plus most of the people who might be coming here, they are coming here for business and they are registered wherever they are coming from Mutare, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central,” said Ndlovu during the Breakfast Club, an online programme hosted by CITE.

“So, looking by the eye to say we are many here, why registered voters are so few may not be scientific according to me. The census will give us the number of people who are 18 and above and who are eligible to vote in a particular area.”

He added: “People are no longer interested in issues of elections, issues of governance because they think it actually does not bring any change that they desire. They are just reluctant to go and register.”

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