A local lobbyist group, Mthwakazi Youth Leaders Joint Resolution has revealed that it may be forced to carry out its own enumeration exercise in Bulawayo following the release of preliminary results which have since been disputed by Bulawayo residents.
Resolution officials recently told Radio Dialogue that they have made an urgent court application against the official 2012 census results released by the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (Zimstats) demanding a recount of the citizens of Bulawayo, Matebeleland and Midlands.
The statistical agency has given official preliminary figures at 655 675 for the province of Bulawayo which according to the Bulawayo City Council are in contrast with the final figures of 2002 and 1992 population statistics which were at 676 650 and 620 436 respectively.
“In the event that we do not get a favourable response from the courts, we will embark on our own enumeration exercise,” said Resolution chairperson Busani Sibindi.
“It is not difficult, all we have to do is engage volunteers who are willing to do an exercise that will give a true reflection of the local population.”
Sibindi said the inaccurate figures are likely to negatively affect city plans.
“We have evidence that prove beyond doubt that the recent population figures by Zimstats are not reflective of the figures conducted by the Bulawayo City Council in 1992 and 2002 after an alternative population census was done using the number of housing units in Bulawayo,” he said.
“Statistical information plays an important role in budget and resource allocation, constituency delimitation and proper service planning. Hence for the past twenty years, the nation of Mthwakazi has undergone severe acute marginalisation and consequently underdevelopment. The stem root for all the structural marginalisation of our people has been such important organs like statistics.”
The local authority has also raised concern over the preliminary results saying the total population of Bulawayo has gone beyond 1.5million people.
Zimstats in 2012 released preliminary results showing that the country’s population has grown to 12.9 million with Bulawayo accounting 5% of the total population while the capital Harare had 2 084 592.