Preparations for the 2022 Census have begun, with Treasury allocating $45 million for the process which will be conducted electronically to ensure efficiency and accuracy.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the $45 million was meant to buy vehicles and tablets, as Government moves away from the manual system.
Conducting the population census electronically entails data collection, which would be fed on a digital platform or mobile application on a computer or a tablet that would eventually be transferred to a central server in real time.
It is also done to create an accurate and reliable database and the system has so far been successfully implemented in Swaziland, Malawi and Kenya, while Zambia is set to do the process next year.
Prof Ncube said this on Tuesday in the National Assembly while responding to concerns raised by legislators during the 2020 National Budget debate.
"We have agreed to stagger funding for the 2022 Census as most of the items mentioned are required towards the full implementation of the programme," he said.
"So we stagger whatever is required to support the 2022 Census. We, however, have allocated $45 million for the purchase of motor bikes, iPads and a few vehicles, thus forming the first phase of the programme.
Prof Ncube said they wanted to cover a number of issues, including motor vehicles and other accessories in the 2021 Budget in time for the implementation of the census programme.
"We are so experienced in this regard in terms of managing a census," he said.
"Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency is very experienced. It is just an issue of resources.
"We will give them enough resources and donors are also contributing. What will happen in this census is that iPads are going to be used. We are going to cut down on the cost of collecting data. It is no longer a manual and costly approach. We will use an electronic approach that will make us more efficient and we will move faster."
Zimbabwe last had a population census in 2012 where ZimStat announced that the country had about 13 million people.
The country has been conducting population census on an interval of 10 years since 1982.
The 2022 population census will be the fifth since independence.
Meanwhile, Prof Ncube said infrastructure for Zimbabwean embassies abroad were in for a major facelift after Treasury allocated resources.
"I have travelled to many embassies as we try to raise funds for Government, push for our re-engagement agenda," said Prof Ncube.
"I was last in the United Kingdom a couple of weeks ago and I have seen the state of these embassies, so I am acutely aware as to what is going on, we have made a lot of progress this year.
"The vehicles that we have bought for the embassies, I was able to see them myself and tick that box and again it was systematic. First of all we said this year we will clear the backlog for the salaries of the employees.
"Secondly, we cleared the vehicles in 2019. In 2020, we move to infrastructure, we are already very clear of what we will do to the UK, South African and Ethiopian Embassy. In the New York Embassy, there has been an incident where the building where the Ambassador was staying caught fire.
"So we had to move very quickly because you cannot leave a fire gutted building like that, you face heavy penalty in the United States. So, we have no choice, but to deal with it. We are systematic or moving on a multi-year targeted approach and we will clear everything."