Omakorokoza flee census enumerators in Gwanda
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Omakorokoza aka Otsheketsha aka illegal gold panners operating in Matabeleland South's Gwanda District are reportedly running away from census enumerators in fear that they might be in the company of police officers, state media reported.
An enumerator told the state controlled Chronicle that at some panning sites the illegal gold panners took to their heels when they saw the enumerators.
"I spent hours in one mining claim with the hope that the panners would come back to us but they did not return as they feared there were police officers among us," said the enumerator.
Matabeleland South Provincial Administrator Mr Midard Khumalo yesterday confirmed that some enumerators have submitted reports that they were having difficulties in dealing with gold panners.
"It has been reported that in some parts of Gwanda especially around Blanket Mine, some illegal gold panners have been running away from enumerators as they fear that they might be in the company of police officers because those people are afraid of being arrested," said Mr Khumalo.
He said there was now a possibility that some of the gold panners would not be counted.
"There is a likelihood that some of these gold panners would be left out of the exercise and this would give wrong results. However, enumerators covering Umzingwane and Filabusi say they did not experience any problems with panners in those areas," said Mr Khumalo.
Some of the gold panners left their homes several months ago and they are camped in the bush.
Some of the panners in Gwanda District came from other provinces outside the Matabeleland region.
In Harare a census enumerator was on Monday bitten by a dog at a house in Kuwadzana while collecting national census data.
The enumerator sustained a cut on her leg.
She was taken to hospital where she was treated and discharged.
Harare provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector James Sabau confirmed the incident.
He said the owner of the dog was arrested and released after paying a fine.
"The victim went to a house in Kuwadzana 7 to collect the census data when a ferocious dog attacked her while sitting on a veranda. She was bitten on the leg," said Chief Insp Sabau.
He said the owner of the dog immediately made a report to the police and was arrested.
"He was released after paying a fine," said Chief Insp Sabau.
There were reports that in some low density suburbs in Harare some families were reportedly denying enumerators access to their homes.
It is an offence under the Census Act to refuse to co-operate during such an important exercise.
Meanwhile, the enumerators have run out of the structured questionnaires and some are now using notebooks.
Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) director of population census and surveys Mr Washington Mapeta attributed the problem to poor distribution of the questionnaires at provincial and district levels.
"The questionnaires are enough for the whole process and these emerging shortages are a result of poor distribution of the census material from our provincial centres to district level," said Mr Mapeta in a telephone interview from Harare yesterday.
He said the distributors did not adhere to the figures they were given by ZimStat to use in the distribution of questionnaires.
â€œEach enumerator was supposed to get 100 questionnaires, this figure was adequate. To solve this problem we will check where there was an oversupply and take the material to where they are in short supply,â€ said Mr Mapeta.
He said the shortages would not disturb the credibility of the count.
â€œThis will not disturb the process and we will certainly complete the exercise on time. In any case the population count is within the target and a delay is not possible,â€ said Mr Mapeta.
A snap survey by Chronicle yesterday revealed that enumerators in Pumula, Waterford and some parts of the city centre had no questionnaires, while others were given additional five questionnaires.
In Waterford, some enumerators had resorted to using their notebooks to conduct the count.
Asked why they were using the notebooks instead of the structured questionnaires, they said they would transfer the information to the questionnaires once they get them.
Another enumerator in the city centre said they were promised the questionnaires late yesterday for them to resume their duties.
â€œWe were told that the questionnaires will come from Harare between Wednesday and Thursday so we are going to wait for them,â€ said the enumerator.
The ongoing census is the fourth the country has conducted. It began at midnight on 17 August and will run up to 27 August.
Collation of data will start thereafter and preliminary results are expected in December.
In the first census in 1982 there were 7,6 million people while in 1992 the population was 10,4 million and in 2002, Zimbabwe had 11,6 million people.
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