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Weird count

Sinqobile Tessa
IN THE NEWS: The census poster

We were counted on Sunday at the on-going 2022 national census and I must hasten to add that some questions left me either baffled, annoyed or chuckling.

The questions seemed to be more of a lifestyle audit than an ordinary census, where the main interest would be the number of people per household, employment, access to amenities and other basic inquiries.

I was not the only one to be surprised by the intrusive prying, as when I got into town on Tuesday I came across the headline: CENSUS PROBES CITIZENS’ WAY OF LIFE.

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Of course, the questions were also an issue on social media though in most instances in a light way.

Government spokesperson, Nick Mangwana even joked that some enumerators might have been naughty as certain questions could have been asked for their own consumption.

This was after a well known radio presenter queried why she was asked the number of times she takes a bath in a day.

Some cheeky chap even noted all that was left was for enumerators to ask was how many times people had sex in a day or week as they seemed more interested in people’s affairs.

For me, the question I found very unnecessary was the number of rooms in our house and if floors in all rooms were tiled! Like really, does it even matter? The enumerator also wanted to know what we used for cooking, where we lived in the last 10 years, education levels and other sources of income.

She also asked the age at which I got married and when I had my first child and the last and if I planned on having more kids…that’s when I rolled my eyes because surely that has nothing to do with the government.

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Anyway, ZimStat (Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency) later clarified that apart from counting people, a census is also used to find out more about Zimbabweans and how they live. They should have told us beforehand to expect weird questions, but well…

In other news, as indicated last week, we are slowly but surely moving back into the era of millions. In fact, some top private schools have sent out circulars announcing an increase in fees for the second term that go beyond the million mark.

Falcon College, the most expensive school in Matabeleland, has pegged its fees at ZWL$1.2million or US$4, 000 ( about P48, 000). It may be jaw-dropping to many but I guess for the parents who have their children learning at the school, money is not really an issue.

The scary part though is that we are now talking of millions.

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