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73 000 Bulawayo residents based outside Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
12 Jan 2024 at 05:03hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) has said it is difficult to provide accurate statistics of locals based in diaspora with official data from the 2022 Population and Housing Census report showing that Bulawayo had at least 73 000 based outside the country.

The census was conducted in April 2022 and the results were released three months later.

Teams from ZimStat are conducting provincial dissemination of census data and on Wednesday they engaged stakeholders in Bulawayo on the provincial data to help improve planning.

ZimStat director for demography and social statistics Mr Aluwisio Mukavhi said Bulawayo has 73 190 diasporans, a majority of whom are based in South Africa. According to the statistics, there are 59 450 Zimbabweans based in South Africa, 4 026 in the UK and 3 469 are living in Botswana.

Mr Mukavhi said over 1 400 Bulawayo residents are based in various European countries while 1 007 migrated to the United States of America.

Other Bulawayo residents are based in Asia and other African countries, but the figures did not exceed 1 000 per location.

However, the Secretary for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Paul Nyoni, disputed the statistics.

"Is there a way of accounting for our brothers and sisters who are outside the country? We had a crisis last year trying to plan for the return of citizens when the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits were cancelled by South Africa. Luckily, the permits have been renewed for another two years," he said.

"At that time we needed to know what to expect. Is there a way in our census because that may then speak to the total number of the population per province? Is there a way of accounting for people who are ordinarily resident in a province, but may spend the next three to four years in another country?"

In response, Mr Mukavhi said: "It is one of those areas where it is difficult to accurately measure the number of emigrants. But during the 2022 Population and Housing Census, we used what we call the sisterhood or the motherhood method to capture the number of people who left the country or to other provinces."

Mr Mukavhi said the sisterhood or the motherhood method has its limitations.

"However, during the census, we asked household members to say if they had individuals who used to be part of their household who had migrated outside the country. If the answer is yes, we capture details on that emigrant whether that person is male or female, marital status and the country of destination," he said.

Mr Mukavhi said while some people might have migrated from the city, there is no guarantee that they remain, residents of that particular country, as some of them could have even changed citizenship.

He said ZimStat will soon be conducting migration censuses by engaging embassies where Zimbabweans are based.

"So in terms of the number of emigrants of this province, we can only use the estimated number of persons who were usual members of their former households, who have left the country as per the specified date of the census," said Mr Mukavhi.

"Also if that person is an illegal migrant that person's information is difficult to measure because they will not be reported properly unless someone has gone through normal ports of entry. So for those who jumped the border, it is difficult."

"So we are trying to do a work-based survey through our embassies so that we have a better estimate of the population of our country."

Source - The Chronicle