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2022 population census kicks off

by Staff reporter
21 Apr 2022 at 11:31hrs | Views
THE 2022 population and housing census, which is conducted after every 10 years by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat), begins today.

Yesterday marches were held in all major cities and towns across the country as the culmination of an advance publicity programme to urge everyone to ensure that their households are counted.

Last night (20 April) was "census night", the precise time when every Zimbabwean is counted.

From today enumerators will be moving across communities and towns, knocking on doors and asking for the data on who spent census night in each household. Enumerators have identity cards and all information that can be tagged to a single person is totally confidential.

Data is collated, to know for example how many women aged 40-45 living in Harare have post-graduate education, but the names and addresses of those people are confidential.

This door-knocking and questioning continues until Saturday next week, enough time for the enumerators to track down all householders, so that all the data is entered into the enumerator gadgets and then downloaded to the ZimStat database.

The results are expected a lot more quickly this year with enumerators recording electronic data that can be downloaded rather than having paper returns punched into the database.

While preliminary results are expected by mid-year, the final results will take around six months, instead of the previous two years.

The census was officially launched with marches in all major towns across the country's 10 provinces where people were being urged to participate while being handed over flyers and pamphlets with information on the enumeration.

ZimStat has been gearing up for the census for some time but the large number of extra temporary staff started clocking in during February when called for training. First came the Level 1 staff, the supervisors and master trainers.

As they completed their training they moved on to the Level 2 staff, the district supervisors, and then finally the large army of enumerators, the Level 3 staff who actually knock on doors. ZimStat trained a total of 7 000 Level 1 trainees across the country and has an army of 40 500 enumerators recruited from across the country's 10 provinces to conduct the census.

Zimstat director-general Mr Taguma Mahonde said though household composition may change between the census night and the day when enumerators visit households, their staff were encouraged to take note of just who was present last night. To avoid double counting, the census is fixed on a single night, so that is why everyone is asked who was present on the night of April 20.

ZimStat enumerators will visit all households and institutions across the country asking questions pertaining to social-economic and demographic characteristics of households, for example the age groups they belong to, the levels of education, the category of work they do, whether they own the home, the sort of fuel used in their kitchen and the like.

Mr Mahonde said the enumerators will have with them identity cards and other census branded material, so people know they are talking to an enumerator, not the local burglar.

"In undertaking the exercise, enumerators will direct questions to heads of households or their designated representatives with all information relating to persons who spent the census night in the household," he said.

"Important to note is that all individuals who will have spent the census night in hotels, lodges, hospitals, police stations, prisons and other collective institutions, shall be enumerated on the census night, including those in transit and other floating populations.

"Given the foregoing, ZimStat is requesting for co-operation from the general public to enable enumerators to undertake their work.

"Please note that in line with the Census and Statistics Act, all information collected during the population housing census enumeration exercise is confidential and will be used for statistical purposes only. Let us make the 2022 population and housing census a success. Be sure to be counted."

For the first time in the history of Zimbabwe, ZimStat has gone paperless during census enumeration since the Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) technique will be employed during data collection.

CAPI is a face-to-face data collection method in which the interviewer uses a tablet, mobile phone or a computer to record answers given during the interview.

The system facilitates logic checks, skip patterns, and validations during the interview, making the census more efficient in assuring higher quality data without mistakes in entry.

When CAPI is used, preliminary census results will be announced after three months of data collection and final census results will be announced within six months after data collection.

Zimstat spokesperson Ms Mercy Chidemo said enumeration began yesterday with the floating population, collective households and those who were not living at their permanent households.

"For those in their households, enumeration will be starting tomorrow. Most questions which will be asked during the enumeration are focused on the census night meaning that all questions will be related to all those individuals who would have spent the census night in a certain household.

"Our questionnaire has several modules. There is a demography module, functionality, immigrations, mortality, education, labour force and housing characteristics. We expect everyone who would have slept within the borders of Zimbabwe today to be counted," she said.

In Mashonaland East, ZimStat led an awareness campaign march in Marondera where participants marched from Dombotombo Shopping Centre to the Government complex.

Mashonaland East Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mr Tavabarira Kutamahufa, who attended the event, said enumerators had already been deployed.

"This is an awareness campaign march to signal the start of the actual counting in our province for the next 10 days. We have deployed enumerators across the province so today we are marching to make people aware of the census," he said.

The census road march for Mashonaland West was held in Chinhoyi where the brass band from the Inkomo Mechanised Brigade provided music during the entire procession. Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, joined the procession and had a media break at Gadzema rank.

Provincial Government departments heads and directors were also part of the procession that started from the Minister of State's office to the Gadzema rank using the Chinhoyi-Chegutu Highway.

In Masvingo, ZimStat marked the beginning of the census through a march in the centre of Masvingo City spiced by drummies and ZCC Mbungo Brass Band.

The marchers were clad in T-shirts branded with information about the population and housing census with the march starting around 9am from Masvingo Civic Centre to Croco Motors along the Masvingo-Harare highway.

Onlookers lined up along Josiah Tongogara Street in the city centre to watch the procession as it navigated its way to Croco Motors before returning to the Civic Centre.

ZimStat provincial spokesperson Mr Rodgers Irimayi said the population and housing census is expected to run flawlessly for the rest of this week and next week.

In Gwanda, a mining town and capital of Matabeleland South, ZimStat organised a march from Glow Petroleum through the central business district and up to the NSSA Complex.

Matabeleland South provincial statistician Mr Munyaradzi Bote said people in transit would be counted on the evening of April 20. He encouraged people to sleep at their homes on census night as they would be counted from there.

"Those in transit and the homeless will be counted tonight (last night). By those in transit, we mean people in hotels, buses, at airports, at work, and so forth. This march was a means to ensure that people are ready for the census night and the days that will follow," he said.

In an effort to reach out to every citizen in all parts of the country, ZimStat has been embarking on roadshows and courtesy visits to traditional leaders in order to spread awareness about the census to be held from April 21 to April 30.

Chief Masuku of Gwanda said the census was important since it was essential for the country's planning.

"If we fail to plan then we plan to fail. We have been spreading the word about the census in my area and we will continue to do so until the census is concluded. It's important to make sure that everyone is counted and that they participate in the census so that its objectives are met," said Chief Masuku.

Source - the herald