Mkhululi Ncube, Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube has challenged the Zimbabwe Statistic Agency (Zimstat) to produce population census results that are a true reflection of the number of people in the province when it conducts the 2022 national census.
Zimstat will conduct the national population and housing census next year from April 21 to April 30 that will provide new figures for the country`s demographic, social, and economic profile.
Minister Ncube said the census data provides policymakers with critical data which affects resources allocations among other reasons.
“In our briefing, I made an indication that the late national hero Cde Sydney Malunga used to talk very strongly about the Bulawayo and Matabeleland population. The figures we present determine the size of the cake that is given to each province. If we misled the leadership, they will believe that uBulawayo ulabobaba abangaphiwanga inzalo.
The population remains at 600 000 every time which will lead to an investigation about the men of Bulawayo and Matabeleland on what natural family planning methods they are using as the population does not grow,” she said.
“The figures remain almost the same as we are not increasing but I did appreciate what the director general of Zimstat told me that the approach and method they are going to use will give a true reflection about Bulawayo.”
Minister Ncube said the results of the census will help guide the Government on how to approach development and service delivery. She challenged Bulawayo residents to co-operate with the enumerators when the census starts and respond to all the questions faithfully.
The minister urged resident associations and all stakeholders in the city to play their part to mobilise residents for this exercise.
Zimstat Director-General Mr Tagoma Mahonde said they have put measures in place so that the results of the census are credible.
“On the issue of accuracy of the results, we have put measures in place and the first one is that we have done the field mapping which is a systematic approach to ensure that we do things accurately. Number two, during the days of the census we are going to be interactive and available to take queries and complaints. That is why we are here, we are creating linkages with the local leadership. So, the local leadership will be part of the structures of the provincial census committee,” said Mr Mahonde.
“We want everyone who feels that something did not go well to contact us and we will comply. And then on the systems aspect, we actually have a dashboard which we would be using. During the mapping exercise, we were visiting every household and took all the GPS co-ordinates of all the structures that are available. When enumeration is being done, we would be able to pick whether this area has been covered or not. We have got a good base which has been constructed by the field mapping exercise.”
He said the 2022 census will differ from the past ones as they are going to use an electronic way of doing enumeration with enumerators armed with tablets and sending data to their server every day.
Mr Makunde said they will also be able to make follow-ups with the enumerators as the process will reveal if there are some not sending data.
He said use of technology will help speed up the results of the census as the preliminary results will be out in 3 months compared to two years when using paperwork.
The director-general said to further boost the credibility of the results, all enumerators will be recruited from communities where they stay and work every day as the interviewing process by enumerators could be a source of error if they do not speak the local language. He said they expect to engage around 40 000 enumerators so that they cover the whole country. — @Themkhust