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Zimbabwe's Statistics Agency Urges Locals to Participate in 2012 Population Census

As Zimbabwe embarks on the 2012 national population census Friday night, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) has urged all citizens currently in the country to participate in the exercise.

Enumerators - wearing orange shirts, covered with blue aprons and displaying census identification cards - will start visiting residential areas Saturday morning, to collect data from households.

Zimstat officials said Zimbabweans living in various countries will not be part of the census but Harare is expected to collect data from nations like South Africa, Britain and the United States where thousands of its citizens live as political and economic refugees.

Zimbabweans have over the years expressed concern over the conduction of the national census saying it is being manipulated by parties like Zanu PF for political purposes.

Census figures in the last exercise were dismissed as inaccurate by activist in Matabeleland region.

For an in-depth analysis of what Zimbabweans should expect, VOA reporter Tatenda Gumbo turned to Khumbulani Tshuma, a former Zimstat employee.

Tshuma said the census process is simple and should run smooth as enumerators visit each residence.

“The most important issues that an enumerator will be looking for includes the number of people in a household, their date of birth, death in the family, employment status, level of education and occupation," he said.

He urged Zimbabweans to take part in the national exercise as a population census is meant to improve the lives of people.

“The agency is merely collecting public information but the end users are Zimbabweans," said Tshuma.

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