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

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora