News / Africa

Zimbabwe Census Kicks Off, Mugabe Says He Wants Baby Boom

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (C) briefs journalists after meeting with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and South African President Jacob Zuma on the progress made on the implementation of The Global Political Agreement ahead of anticipated electionZimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (C) briefs journalists after meeting with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and South African President Jacob Zuma on the progress made on the implementation of The Global Political Agreement ahead of anticipated election
x
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (C) briefs journalists after meeting with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and South African President Jacob Zuma on the progress made on the implementation of The Global Political Agreement ahead of anticipated election
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (C) briefs journalists after meeting with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and South African President Jacob Zuma on the progress made on the implementation of The Global Political Agreement ahead of anticipated election
HARARE — Zimbabwe’s government census kicks off at midnight Friday and the country’s President Robert Mugabe expects a higher population growth from the previous count done 10 years ago. Zimbabwe is one of the countries most affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
 
Speaking ahead of the two-day head-counting exercise which ends Sunday, the 88-year-old Zimbabwean leader said he was not pleased with how the 2002 census reflected the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on the African country.

“Sorry to say, but the census results of 2002 were disappointing to me," said Mugabe. "The numbers were down, miserably down. The country population [in 2002] had been decimated, decimated by the pandemic we all know, that of HIV and AIDS.”

Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world.   Mugabe said the death rate was higher than the birth rate since Zimbabwean women had adopted, what he called, the western ideas of not having many children.  He said that was stagnating population growth in a country ravaged by HIV.

“Women folk… and do not want to have as many children as our mothers used to have," he said. "They now have two or three children when we had one mother producing 10 or 12 children. We want more children, give us more children you women.”

The Zimbabwe census was almost thrown into disarray after the army forced their way into the process in the past.

Traditionally teachers do the census in Zimbabwe but more than 10,000 security forces had found their way onto the list of enumerators. The country's Ministry of Finance had to reduce their presence clearing the way for the census which begins Friday.  In Zimbabwe, many people associate the army with intimidating civilians given its history.

In the 1980s, President Robert Mugabe’s government used soldiers to intimidate and to commit violence against perceived dissidents in the southern part of Zimbabwe. In the disputed elections of 2008, the army was said to be involved in violence against supporters of the then-opposition MDC party.

Zimbabwe's last census was held in 2002.  That census showed Zimbabwe had about 11.6 million people.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid