Lusaka Province Census Chairperson Robert Kamalata is concerned that some foreign nationals are resisting to provide information to enumerators in the ongoing census for population and housing.
Mr Kamalata who is also Provincial Permanent Secretary said this may compromise the purpose of the exercise which is intended to collect data required for planning of development in the country.
Mr Kamalata revealed this during a media briefing in Lusaka, that some foreign nationals are denying the enumerators entry into their homes while others close their shops for fear of arrest because their stay in the country is allegedly illegal.
Mr Kamalata explained that government has engaged their embassies and their associations to encourage them to comply with the enumerators stating that such actions may affect development planning.
He observed that resistance among residents has also been reported in areas such as Kabulonga, woodlands and Kamwala despite sensitization programmes that were carried out.
Mr Kamalata appealed to the residents to find time and meet the enumerators if the exercise is to be successful.
“Some of the people in such areas leave home early and get back late after the enumerators have knocked off,” he said.
He however observed that the census is going on smoothly in areas where the government had anticipated resistance.
“We are not having problems in areas such as Chibolya and Kanyama,” he said.
Mr Kamalata also announced that two enumerators were attacked by unknown people who stole tablets that were being used to capture data.
Mr Kamalata said police have been informed about the matter and that investigations are ongoing.
“I would like to warn those behind such activities that they will be arrested as the tablets are installed with GPS and it will be easy to locate them,” he said.
And Provincial Census officer Kennedy Chimpa said some foreigners have been referring the enumerators to their embassies, a move which he said is difficult.
Dr. Chimpa who in the company of police officers visited long acres following reports of resistance by some residents found a Chinese national who resisted to open the gate claiming that the owner of the house had gone out with the keys leaving the gate closed.
The occupant of the house near JCS foods who spoke to the team through the closed gate said he could not open the gate saying the census team should go back another time.
Dr Chimpa said though the census may not include the foreign nationals, the infrastructure is supposed to be captured as the exercise includes housing.
And one of the enumerators, Christabel Manyoma saidin Long acres that the process was difficult because some of the residents, especially the foreigners, were not willing to comply and rejected entry to their homes in some cases.