The delay in training enumerators for the 2012 census, due to demands by members the police and army that they be included in the process, has led to claims in the non-ZANU PF aligned press that the disruption is part of a conspiracy to gerrymander constituencies ahead of delimitation before the next poll. The claim is based on the notion that population figures are used for the purposes of delimitation. This claim is false. Delimitation is based, more logically, upon the number of registered voters in each constituency, not the census results.
However, the census is likely to highlight the fact that a greater percentage of the population is registered as voters in ZANU PF’s traditional strongholds – the Mashonaland Provinces – than in other provinces, as has been revealed in several RAU reports. Other registration anomalies may also come to light. For example, the rural population may be shown to have been reduced by urban drift, the diaspora and AIDS pandemic to the extent that the current voter registration figures in rural constituencies are exposed as patently false. Already, based on the 2002 census, the registration rate in some of these constituencies is a highly improbable 80%. The census may expose the registration rate in these areas as being more than 100% of the eligible voter population.
The census should also be of considerable interest to ZANU PF. The ZANU PF Party Constitution provides that 130 members of the 240 member Central Committee are appointed pro rata according to the provincial demographics of the last census. The Central Committee is technically ZANU PF’s policy making body when the five yearly Congress is not sitting.