8 August 2012

Tanzania: Census Boycott Threats On

Zanzibar — AS the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) finalizes preparations for kick-starting the 2012 National Census, some Muslim groups are still threatening to boycott it.

In a consultative meeting on the census, attended by the Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi, the Co-chairman of the 2012 census, it was revealed that some Muslim groups such as Uamsho are still urging their followers to shun the exercise.

The Muslim groups in both Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland reached the decision to boycott the exercise due August 26 this year in protest against the government's decision not to include religious representatives in the census survey. The Muslims are demanding to be counted.

According to the press secretary- second vice president's office Mr Othman Ame, despite the boycott threats, preparations for the national census are progressing well. The Deputy Minister for Finance in the union government, Ms Saada Mkuya, said at the meeting that over 22.5bn/- has already been spent on preparations that include awareness, preparing questionnaires, transporting of materials and selecting of enumerators.

"We need all people to take part in the census, therefore ask all people to make sure they are counted," Mkuya said while the second vice president thanked development partners for supporting the census.

About 77 per cent is being covered by the government, while the remaining 23 per cent comes from the development partners: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the government of Britain through the Department for International Development (DfID) and the government of Japan.

The development partners have already contributed 26.7bn/- which was spent on mapping out the census areas, the purchase of vehicles, taking of aerial pictures, purchase of census equipments, and payments of modern technology of scanning and input of census data into computers.

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