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"Don't Vent Your Frustrations On Census Enumerators"

The Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (ZimStat) has urged members of the public to desist from behaviour that borders on criminality when interacting with census enumerators.

This comes after some enumerators were threatened and robbed of their tablets while doing their work.

Addressing a press conference in Harare on Monday, 25 April, ZimStats director-general, Taguma Mahonde said people should not vent their frustrations on enumerators. Said Mahonde:

We have received such cases, but they are few. We are aware that there are people with frustrations who want to vent on census enumerators.

It’s important to note that being aggressive is actually a crime, and that should be brought to book.

We will persist until we get what we want as mandated by Statutory Instrument 205 of 2021, which mandates us to do the census.

The permanent secretary in the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Ministry, Ndavaningi Mangwana said the police has received several reports of death threats and harassment of census enumerators. Mangwana tweeted:

In Warren Park, an enumerator was chased away by a respondent holding a knife threatening to kill him. The case was reported to the police and the respondent was arrested.

In Mandara, one case of a respondent who wanted to burn an enumerator with hot water was reported. Another enumerator in ward 41 (Marlborough) was bitten by dogs.

Some robber mugged a Census 2022 supervisor and took the Tablet in Bikita. He was caught trying to sell the gadget in Gutu.

This thing has 2GB storage and surely the risk of being charged with handling stolen property is not worth it. Don’t bother.

Mangwana also revealed that in Avondale, a Pakistani family offered an enumerator a US$150 “bribe” after mistaking the enumerator for an immigration official.

In areas such as Nyanga and Chimanimani, enumerators walk very long distances and cross flooded rivers to access villages in order to count people.

Enumerators have also complained about the lack of protective clothing such as raincoats and materials to protect their electronic gadgets such as cellphones and tablets.

The 2022 National Housing and Population Census runs for 10 days from 21 April to 30 April.

More: NewsDay

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