REFUSAL TO COOPERATE WITH CENSUS IS A CRIME, WARNS INE

Maputo – The spokesperson for Mozambique’s National Statistics Institute (INE), Cirilo Tembe, has warned that anyone who fails to cooperate with the current population census could be sent to jail.

Cited by the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, Tembe pointed out that the census is governed by a law of 1997 which states that it is obligatory for all citizens living in the country, both Mozambicans and foreigners, to answer questions from the census brigades. He promised that the INE will take legal action against anyone who refuses to answer the census questions, or who gives false information.

Refusal to cooperate with the census constitutes the crime of disobedience envisaged under the Mozambican Penal Code. Those who answer untruthfully commit the crime of making false declarations.

Tembe also declared that, despite protests from some of the census staff, the INE will not pay them any extra money. All census staff signed a contract before starting work which stipulated their payments, and the INE has no funds for additional pay.

Under these contracts, each member of a census brigade will receive 4,322 meticais (about US$71), and each supervisor will receive 4,444 meticais. This covers the entire census period, from 1 to 15 August.

At the start of the census there had been protests among census staff, and even work stoppages. The protestors claimed that during their training, the INE trainers had promised payments of 7,500 meticais (just over US$100) for each member of a brigade and 9,000 meticais for each supervisor.

Tembe dismissed such claims as no more than “rumours”. Likewise it was untrue that different amounts would be paid to census brigades depending on where they were working, in the countryside or in the cities.

At no time, he stressed, had the INE promises census staff anything other than what was stated in their contracts. He added that only a small minority of the staff had protested. – AIM.

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