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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid