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ZimStat explains Matobo figures

by Staff reporter
30 Jul 2022 at 19:08hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) has claimed that it did not 'cook' figures for ward 20 in Matobo district, Matabeleland South province after preliminary census results showed that the area has no females.

In its preliminary 2022 Population and Housing Census report, ZimStat said the ward has a total population of only 85 males and 60 households.

The revelations triggered a social media storm with critics accusing the agency of cooking figures.

"Taking this census data seriously is just difficult," Zimbabwe National Students Union secretary-general, Tapiwa Chiriga, reacted.

But ZimStat public relations and communication manager Mercy Chidemo said there was nothing amiss about the statistics claiming the area called Emlageni, along Shashe River, has no permanent residents.

"Residents from neighbouring communal areas practice partial nomadic life. When feed for their animals diminishes in their usual areas of habitation, some locals take their animals to ward 20 for grazing," Chidemo said in a statement on Friday.

"They put up temporary structures as shelter. They will reside in this area for months and then go back to their usual places of residence when summer sets in.

"When our enumerators entered the ward, they accounted for 85 males who spent the census night, April 20, in these temporary structures in ward 20 of Matobo area. Kindly note that the census was conducted using the de-facto method that entails enumeration of persons who slept at a given place on the census night irrespective of their place of usual residence."

According to Chidemo, enumerators recorded a total of 15 females and 49 males during the 2012 census in the ward.

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) co-ordinator Khumbulani Mpofu, buttressed Chidemo's claims saying previous visits to the area confirmed the low population.

"I followed that area for the two past elections. I got so worried about what kind of a community this is with so few people. It used to have 20 people, and I am actually shocked that the population is now increasing," Mpofu said.

Meanwhile, Mpofu's MIHR has written to ZimStat demanding answers as to why there were no statistics of people who have left the country for greener pastures.

"Considering that ZimStat sought to establish, through one of its questionnaire questions, the number of family members who had migrated outside the country, why did the Preliminary Report not give an indication of the number of emigrants per ward juxtaposed with the total ward statistics?," the letter dated July 28 read in part.

"This information is critical for understanding the overall population statistics and it is critical now at a time when Zimbabwe is having policy debates on diaspora remittances and their contribution to the realisation of National Development Strategy goals and targets."

"This was also going to be critical in the understanding and appreciation of the Preliminary Census Report. We also wish to understand why it was not included in the preliminary report."

Chidemo yesterday said they were yet to receive the MIHR letter.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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