Outcry as ZIMSTAT’s management pockets US$75 allowance per day in 2025 Economic Census  

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By Alois Vinga

AN outcry has erupted at the country’s sole statistics organ over allegations that management members will be pocketing US$75 per day while enumerators on the ground are taking home peanuts in the just commenced exercise.

This comes on the back of the inaugural 2025 Economic Census which has seen training sessions kicking off across the country’s selected provincial capitals.

However, several enumerators participating in the exercise told that they have been sidelined at a time when top managers and senior staffers from Zimstat will be enjoying a lion’s share.

“Moral is very low right now after recently learning that enumerators will be paid a partial US$15 per day for the exercise. This amount is expected to cover food, travel to the communities and other expenses. What is more worrying is that the small amount will be paid at the obtaining official exchange rate in local currency,” said one enumerator.

Another official who is set to participate in the exercise questioned how the Zimstat management climbed down from the initial position of paying US$60 per day to such a small amount arguing it does not tally with the task.

But more glaring are allegations that senior staffers and management will be creaming off lucrative allowances.

“Imagine the supervisor tracking work by enumerators will be entitled to a US$75 daily allowance for not more than 10 days per month plus a vehicle and free fuel yet the one doing the work is getting peanuts,” an insider said.

Contacted for comment on the allegations, Zimstat public relations and communications manager Mercy Chidemo said the enumerators’ paltry allowances were in line with existing budget support.

“This Economic Census is running from 2024 up to 2026 and requires substantial resources for it to be successful. The budgeted daily rate for enumerators for this Census is $18. Enumerators will be commuting from home every day. As per the Government policy, all our local allowances are paid using the Zimbabwe Gold currency, except for donor-funded programs,” she said.

Quizzed on why the statistics agency’s employees will be getting a lion’s share, Chidemo said employees who travel outside their work stations are entitled to travelling and subsistence allowance gazetted by the government and dismissed the allegation as “unfounded”.

Further asked about the appointment of managers to participate in the exercise even though such provinces are already manned by supervisors, Chidemo maintained that all is above board.

“ZIMSTAT structure at the provincial level has been restructured in line with the devolution agenda. We now have Manager Posts in Provinces. The Manager has different roles from Statisticians. Our vision is to have data collected and processed at the provincial level.  These manager posts were advertised and interviews were conducted. No one was cherry-picked as alleged,” she added.