Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
SENATORS have moved a motion urging Zimbabweans not to embrace birth control measures saying they do not promote population growth.
According to the 2012 Zimbabwe Population Census, the population growth rate was pegged at 1,1 percent for the last 10 years.
The population growth rate was also at 1,1 percent in the 2002 census.
Senators said this was worrying and one of them suggested that people should have a minimum of eight children and be supported by Government to sustain their families.
The population motion, which was supported by senators from across the political divide, was moved by Mashonaland West Senator, Mike Byton Musaka (Zanu-PF).
The senator said there was a link between investment and low population.
“If you look at the population of Zimbabwe and compare with those countries that are even five times smaller than Zimbabwe, take for example England, it is five times or four times smaller than Zimbabwe. It has got a population of 76 million or more and the dynamics of development is enormous,” said Senator Musaka.
“We have only about 14 million people and even that 14 million may actually be a political figure, we could be less than that. The country is vast with many resources but empty. We have no people. We should be serious about development. The issue here is a very serious one. Let us take development alone which investor would come to Zimbabwe to invest seriously for 14 million people?”
Manicaland Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said she lived in China for five years when her husband Mr Chris Mutsvangwa was the ambassador there and they found it very difficult to attract big Chinese corporations to invest in Zimbabwe because of its population.
She said China’s population which stands at a staggering 1,357 billion was partly the reason why that country has transformed from among the world’s worst performing economies 40 years ago to be the second largest economy globally.
“They have taken advantage of their population. In our efforts as diplomats in China to try and bring a lot of companies to Zimbabwe, the first question they would ask is what the population of Zimbabwe is. The moment you tell them we are about 14 million; they will all look around and say ah, I do not know how I can continue. What we have done as a country in China, we came together as a Sadc group, so that when we spoke to these companies, we gave them a population of 250 million which is the population of Sadc and that is when they got interested. I am talking about the big businesses,” said Senator Mutsvangwa.
MDC-T Midlands Senator Morgen Komichi described the motion as very good and said the decision to have fewer children was due to colonialism.
“If you go to Britain, Germany or any other country, there are a lot of families that give birth to many children because they know that you cannot separate the population and economic development. If you look at countries like Britain, they have a population of nearly 70 million and yet it is a small country.
“They did that because of economic development and also to have a good army for defence,” he said.
“When we de-colonised Africa and won the liberation struggle, they sat down with the IMF and World Bank and they came up with human rights issues and started teaching our women and children that you do not need to have many children because of the cost of living. That is a lie.”
Registrar-General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede has previously urged Government to ban contraceptives.
Mr Mudede urged Zimbabweans to stop using contraceptives arguing that their use was a ploy by powerful nations to retard population growth in Africa.