Zim population census kicks off at midnight
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Zimbabwe's fourth population census begins at midnight today with the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) expressing confidence that it will produce accurate and credible results.
In an interview from Harare yesterday, Zimstat director of population census and surveys Mr Washington Mapeta said all was in place for the 2012 population count.
"Everything has been put in place and we are ready to roll," said Mr Mapeta.
He said the counting would start at midnight so that people travelling outside the country through borders and airports at night are counted.
â€œThis will be done to avoid counting some people twice because counting people that are in transit can be a problem,â€ said Mr Mapeta.
The counting of people will start at midnight tomorrow and the collation of data will take up to 27 August.
â€œThe census is a 10-day exercise and therefore I would like to urge members of the public to welcome enumerators when they visit them and give them all the information they will be looking for,â€ said Mr Mapeta.
He said they were hopeful that the 2012 census would yield accurate and reliable results.
â€œWe are confident that nothing will stop us achieving accurate results. We have done our homework and we are confident of coming up with credible results.
â€œThe credibility of the census is also based on the accurate information that members of the public will give our enumerators,â€ said Mr Mapeta.
He said there was a need for members of the public to be forthcoming and assist the enumerators by giving them adequate information.
â€œWe have conducted three successful censuses and we are confident that we are going to be successful once again. We have all the expertise to achieve just that,â€ said Mr Mapeta.
A visit to Bulawayo Polytechnic, one of the census centres, by a Chronicle news crew yesterday, showed that enumerators were winding up preparations for the official population count.
Some enumerators were busy teaching each other how to complete the census question-naires. â€œMost of the people here are now ready for the census, we have undergone an extensive training and I am sure that everyone is geared to count the people,â€ said an official.
He said the training was all-encompassing.
The bulk of the enumerators are drawn from teachers, some of whom have the experience from previous censuses.
Zimbabwe holds a census after every 10 years, with the first in 1982 showing that the country had 7,6 million people.
In 1992, there were 10,4 million people and 11,6 million in 2002.
About 30 000 civil servants will conduct the census.
The fundamental purpose of the census is to provide facts essential to Government for policy-making, planning and administration.
A census provides important data for the analysis and appraisal of the changing patterns of rural to urban movement and concentration.
President Mugabe launched this yearâ€™s census on Wednesday in Harare.
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