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National census set for August

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ZIMBABWE will hold a population and housing census in August ahead of the 2023 elections, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstats) has announced.

Zimstats director-general Taguma Mahonde said the agency had begun field mapping and house-listing in preparation for the census, which is expected to gobble up US$85,5 million. The census is held every 10 years, and the last one was in 2012.

“The exercise aims to subdivide the country into unique enumeration areas from which enumerators will be assigned to work from during the actual census count in August 2021. “It will provide information on population size, its geographical location, housing stock and the sampling frame in advance of census enumeration. The information we are collecting is confidential and will be used only for statistical purposes,” Mahonde said in a statement yesterday.

The census was scheduled to be held next year, but has been pushed back to this year to facilitate the delimitation of constituencies by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) before the 2023 harmonised elections. This would give Zec time to delimit all 210 constituency boundaries for the presidential, parliamentary and local government elections using up-to-date census data as required by the Constitution.

Mahonde said the enumerators, who will have government and Covid-19 essential services identity cards and branded apparel, will collect information such as name of household, number of persons in the household, home address and contact details.

He said the national statistics body will enforce adherence to Covid-19 preventive guidelines during the exercise to ensure a successful census. “In observing Covid-19 health guidelines, the enumerators will be putting on face masks and will also have hand sanitisers.

“Fellow Zimbabweans, we seek your full cooperation. Join us in preparing for the 2021 census to ensure an accurate account,” Mahonde added. According to Zimstats, Zimbabwe’s population has almost doubled over the last three decades from 7,5 million in 1982 to 13,1 million in 2012.

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