Soldiers fail pre-census test

The confusion that gripped the census recruiting exercise after uniformed forces demanded a quota ended in a circus here after one participant scored 1 out of 25 in a test at the end of the training.

According to sources, at least 27 officers performed dismally in the tests. Out of nearly 400 enumerators trained at Chikangwe High School, the bulk of those who failed to score more than half were soldiers, who then had to go for ‘night schooling’ to help them understand the process before being deployed.

The soldiers were reported to be threatening enumerators who they suspect may engage in secret political activity during the exercise.

This behaviour by the army has triggered suspicion and angered some people who view the whole process as political due to the involvement of the soldiers.

One enumerator, who declined to be named for security reasons, said some people were locking themselves inside their houses fearing that the enumerators might be security forces on a spying mission ahead of the referendum and elections.

“It is now very difficult to know who is a genuine enumerator and who is a spy. Since 1980 , teachers and other civil servants have provided the bulk of enumerators. Why involve soldiers this time around when everyone knows that soldiers have openly declared their allegiance to Zanu (PF)? How do we know that the information which we are going to provide is not going to end up in the wrong hands?” asked a Pumula South resident who also refused to be named. In some suburbs residents were refusing to entertain enumerators without full Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStart) identification particulars and regalia such as T-shirts and bibs. The Zimbabwean News Crew witnessed a male enumerator in his ordinary attire being chased away at a flat in the city centre.

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