News / Africa

    Zimbabwe Halts Preparations for Census

    People walk down a street in the capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare, July, 12, 2012.
    People walk down a street in the capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare, July, 12, 2012.
    HARARE — Zimbabwe's national census, due to begin next week, is up in the air after the government stopped preparations in order to remove army officials who had bulldozed their way into the process. Some analysts say the army wants to get involved in order to intimidate citizens ahead of the next elections.
     
    Preparations for Zimbabwe’s census, which is scheduled to start next week, were thrown into disarray after the government halted the process this week. The move came after army officials got involved in the counting process. Traditionally the census in Zimbabwe is done by teachers.

    “We shall not divert on that culture [of employing teachers to enumerate] because the results [of] that count of our census has had the credibility in the region, in the country and international results. We shall adhere to that ritual," said Zimbabwe’s acting finance minister, Gorden Moyo, speaking to reporters in Harare. Moyo. "That doesn’t mean the army doesn’t have a role to play, to protect our enumerators. And then they [have a] limited role in their own military cantons, in the barracks."

    In Zimbabwe, many people associate the army with intimidating civilians. 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.

    Analyst Claris Madhuku, who heads Platform for Youth Development (PYD), said the involvement of the army in the census might be meant to appease them as the soldiers are poorly paid.

    "Secondly, since we are close to the forthcoming elections, soldiers would want to interact with the community members," said Madhuku. "As they go through the process of counting, they want to provide some form of intimidation so that the community in the next election, they must vote for ZANU-PF [Robert Mugabe's party] or else."

    Zimbabwean army officers have said the past they would not support anyone who is not from ZANU-PF, which fought the country’s liberation struggle from Great Britain.  

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

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: So Easy
    August 09, 2012 6:03 AM
    Perhaps if John had lived in the Country and seen it right through
    to the present day with the collapse of the economy, health, education and justice, to name but a few, there is no doubt in my mind he would have an entirely different understanding.
    So Easy to talk when you dont live there and have felt the pain and seen it in the eyes of thers.

    by: John
    August 07, 2012 7:45 PM
    Zimbabwe did not exactly fight a liberation struggle with Great Britain. The black Zimbabweans fought the white Zimbabweans over who should rule. The only reason Britain did not recognize the independence of the then Rhodesia many, many years previously was that the black Zimbabweans felt this helped them. I think the Brits were fools not to simply dump the place when the white government of Rhodesia asked them to, and leave the locals alone to fight each other in peace. This, and the other help they gave the blacks, cost them money and trouble for no return whatsoever.

    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.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora