Suppliers and service providers for Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency are owed more than US$1,5 million for services and goods during the 2012 national census.
Several companies supplied material including T-shirts, pencils, erasers, caps and bags for the census conducted from 18 to 28 August 2012.
Investigations by The Herald showed that some of the companies including JMCD, Fairways Clothing, Millennium Advertising, Kutaura Enterprise and Kingsport were yet to paid, two months after the census.
The companies are owed between US$10 000 and US$200 000 for the services and material supplied.
It has also emerged that the 31 000 enumerators and 10 450 supervisors have not yet been paid their dues.
Enumerators were promised US$500 each but were only paid US$150 after the 10-day exercise.
Enumerators have since launched complaints with Government.
They claimed using their own funding for transport and other expenses thinking Government would pay them in time.
Population Census director Mr Washington Mapeta yesterday confirmed that several companies had not been paid because there were no funds.
"Government has no money. That's all I can say. We are still looking for the money," Mr Mapeta said.
He said it was the same situation with the enumerators who have also not been paid.
Zimstat director general Mr Mutasa Dzinotizei could not be reached for comment as he was said to be in a meeting.
However, disgruntled suppliers who chose not to be named said their companies faced closure.
"We supplied Zimstat with material but we are yet to be paid the full amounts and our suppliers are threatening to attach our machinery and other property," said one of the directors of the distressed companies.
The director said Zimstat's failure to fulfil their obligation had seen most of them failing to pay workers' salaries and meet tax obligations among other things.
Another disgruntled supplier expressed shock that Zimstat had paid CMED US$1,2 million but were failing to pay US$100 000 to other suppliers.
"This is disheartening, we call them and we are just told that there is no money, but they paid CMED US$1,2 million. We appeal to President Mugabe to intervene and save the mostly indigenous companies that supplied Zimstat during the census days," he said.
The United Nations Population Fund released US$12 million for administration purposes during the census.
The census was riddled with problems from the start. The programme was affected by late disbursement of materials, while transport shortages had a bearing on the deployment of officers.
In August, Government released only US$8 million towards payment of enumerators and supervisors and some of the service providers.
The population census will provide data on the demographic and related socio-economic characteristics of the population at national and sub-national levels.
It is used for planning and implementing development programmes such as housing, provision of water and sanitation.
Zimbabwe holds a census after every 10 years. The first census was held in 1982.