Government has a funding shortfall of K308 million for census-Musokotwane

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Government has a funding shortfall of K308 million for census-Musokotwane
Government has a funding shortfall of K308 million for census-Musokotwane

Africa-Press – Zambia. Government has a funding shortfall of K308 million of the total national Census population and a housing budget of 967 million kwacha with less than two months remaining.

The delayed census is expected to be conducted from 18th August to 14th September 2022. Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said that the government has so far disbursed over 658 million kwacha equivalent to 68 percent of the total Census budget.

Dr. Musokotwane said that the government has also provided the funding for key Census equipment and materials which include 30, 000 tablets, 35, 000 power banks, 500 motorbikes, 13,000 bicycles and 44 motor vehicles among others.

He has since appealed to the cooperating partners and the private sector for financial and technical support in this important national undertaking which affects everyone in Zambia and beyond.

Speaking when he delivered his speech virtually to Cooperating partners on the 2022 census of population and housing during a resource mobilization meeting in Lusaka today, Dr. Musokotwane says the new dawn government attaches great importance to conducting the census.

And Secretary to the Treasury, Felix Nkulukusa says government will go to Parliament and ask for a supplementary budget and identify some programmes that can cancel in order to bridge the budget deficit. He has pleaded with the private sector to ensure that they make their pledges before the end of this month.

Speaking earlier, United Nations Population Fund Activities Deputy Country Representative, Margaret Twala-Tembe has expressed concern that despite enhanced efforts to mobilize domestic resources to undertake the 2022 Census, there is still a budget deficit.

She since has appealed to the private sector and other stakeholders to consider increasing support to the 2022 digital Census. And making a presentation of the 2022 Census Key Milestones accomplished, ZamStats Interim Statistician, Mulenga Musepa says DFID and UNFPA have so far provided 15, 025 of the 45, 000 tablets required for data collection.

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