BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) is planning to carry out its own census of residents in the city for proper planning and administrative purposes.
The census, will also assist the local authority in dealing with the housing problem, which is overburdened.
Addressing journalists on behalf of the Mayor at the Bulawayo Press Club recently, Councilor Silas Chigora of Ward Four, noted it was important to the city council that it conducts its own census and determine the correct number of people in the city.
According to the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency’s (ZIMSTAT) 2012 census report, there were 653 337 people of which 303 346 are male and 349 991 are female from 676 000 in 2002.
These figures were highly disputed by various sectors in the city, with others asking how the population in Zimbabwe’s second largest city was going in reverse instead of up.
Councillor Chigora revealed that at one council meeting, councillors concurred they did not agree with ZIMSTAT figures and instead would double up the figure while doing administrative work.
“As Bulawayo, l think we should come up with our own census to count how many we are. In fact when we are planning in council we do not rely on those ZIMSTAT figures, instead we double it. Another census will help us determine the correct number of people in the city which would also assist us in our planning, make sure we receive suitable allocations from the authorities and prevent them from cheating the city,” he said.
Concerns were also raised that although the number of residents in Bulawayo had decreased – as stated by ZIMSTAT, the city’s housing list was continuously ballooning due to an influx of people, some from rural areas.
“We always hear or read from press that the waiting list is ballooning, it’s always on the rise. Some say the figure is over 00 000 people. It seem availability of land and space is a serious challenge that we are facing and we appeal to the government to avail land,” said Bulawayo Residents Association Chairman, Winos Dube.
Last year BCC, civic and pressure groups accused ZIMSTAT of understating the number of residents in Bulawayo, alleging this was a conspiracy where the government could underfund the local authority.
Source: – www.radiodialogue.com