Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) has rejected preliminary 2022 population census results released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) and said it will soon conduct its own census in southern Zimbabwe.
According to the ZIMSTAT report, Zimbabwe’s population grew by 16.2 per cent from 13,061,239 in 2012 to 15,178,979 in 2022 with an annual growth rate of 1.5 per cent.
Bulawayo Metropolitan Province’s population grew by just 12, 603 people in the past 10 years. It was 653,337 in 2012 and now stands at 665,940.
Speaking to CITE, MRP president Mqondisi Moyo alleged that the census results released by ZIMSTAT are extremely “flawed.” Said Moyo:
We have always argued about the population results of Matabeleland and the Midlands, alias Mthwakazi.
I analysed these results after the 2012 results looking at 2002 figures as well. The margin of it was similar for 2002 and 2012.
When I wanted to challenge this in 2013, I engaged the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) and by then they projected that the population of Bulawayo was over 1.2 million.
They (BCC) had even said the biggest suburb in Bulawayo was Cowdray Park which they said had about 150, 000 people followed by Nkulumane which had 60, 000 people.
How many new suburbs have been built after that? Cowdray Park keeps on extending, Emganwini and other suburbs. So, their figures do not add up.
We are going to conduct our own population census on our own time using chiefs and village heads in rural areas because these are the people with the right statistics on the subjects that they have in their localities.
In Bulawayo and other urban centres, we are going to use local authority administration because these are the people with proper figures about the number of schools, households and how many people live in each household and all those things. It is easier for us to verify statistics using that information.
Moyo further alleged that ZIMSTAT deliberately suppressed Matabeleland figures to perpetuate the region’s underdevelopment and marginalisation.