The 40 000 enumerators who took part in the 2022 population and housing census have threatened to sue the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) for its failure to pay their allowances.
The census was conducted in the second half of April and a mop-up exercise was done in early May but ZIMSTAT hasn’t yet paid the enumerators for the exercise.
The enumerators say they had tried to engage ZIMSTAT on several occasions to have their allowances paid but their efforts have been in vain.
ZIMSTAT spokesperson Mercy Chidemo told NewsDay that the enumerators will be paid their allowances soon. She said:
They are definitely going to be paid, probably next week. But they will not be paid the allowances at once. They will be paid in tranches.
One enumerator who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity, said they are mulling taking legal action against ZIMSTAT. Said the enumerator:
We are consulting lawyers on how to deal with the case. We are actually mobilising each other to institute legal action against ZimStat.
(It) must be ordered to pay us. We also want ZIMSTAT to consider revaluing the money (it owes) us because it has been eroded by inflation.
Another enumerator opined that something may have gone wrong at ZIMSTAT which has resulted in its failure to pay them their allowances.
It means there is something that went wrong. Does it mean that the government approved the census to go ahead when it did not have enough funds to support it?
We need to speak up to ensure what is due to us is paid without prejudice and approaching the courts could be ideal for our matter to be resolved with urgency.
Meanwhile, Chidemo said the allowances for the enumerators had been budgeted for but failed to explain why they have not yet been paid.
Some enumerators who participated in the census have since died without enjoying the fruits of their labour.