By NQOBANI NDLOVU
ZIMBABWE’S statistical agency has said marginalised parts of the country such as Tsholotsho will be treated as special areas during the population census to ensure every citizen is counted.
This was revealed by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) director-general Taguma Mahonde during a tour of Tsholotsho district on Sunday.
The main inhabitants of Tsholotsho district are the San, who are generally known as nomadic.
Mahonde said they had already begun preparations for the population census, starting with a field mapping exercise in Tsholotsho.
Government last week announced that the population census would commence in April 2022, with results expected in August the same year.
The population census is expected to pave way for delimitation of new constituencies.
A field mapping exercise is carried out at the pre-enumeration stage of the population and housing census.
“The San are nomadic and, therefore, such areas should be treated as special case areas to ensure that no one is left behind and everyone is enumerated. So we want to make sure that when it comes to census time, the San people are enumerated,” Mahonde told journalists.
“We want to make sure that every province has been allocated an enumeration area. An enumeration area is one which leads us to drawing an enumeration map. This is a systematic way we use to make sure there is no over-counting or under-counting.”
A field mapping exercise involves the subdivision of the country into small census geographic units called enumeration areas.
A population and housing census is undertaken every 10 years in terms of the Census and Statistics Act.
ZimStat said it would, for the first time, attempt to estimate the number of Zimbabweans in the diaspora to meet the data needs of policymakers.
Latest data shows that the country’s population is estimated to have grown to 15,8 million in 2019 from 13,4 million in 2012, and is projected to be around 17 million by the next census in 2022.
The 2022 survey will be the fifth since the country’s independence from Britain in 1980.