Kambuzuma Member of Parliament Willias Madzimure last week told the House of Assembly several MPs were not computer literate and had challenges in using the Internet.
Madzimure said most of the MPs did not even have e-mail addresses and lacked expertise in the use of modern communication methods.
“We have got several MPs, some of whom have no e-mail addresses,” said Madzimure. “They have never used that technology (Internet) and they have never done any business using the technology.”
Madzimure said this while contributing to a motion by the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, on the ratification of a loan agreement between the government and the Export-Import Bank of China regarding a $45 million loan to assist NetOne implement the 2G and 3G national network rollout project.
The loan, Biti said, would largely finance the importation of telecommunications equipment as Zimbabwe was lagging behind in communications technology. “It is very critical that Zimbabwe rolls out this 3G network. We are lagging behind, and I said in my Mid-Term (Fiscal Policy) statement that technology-wise this country is 23 years behind,” said Biti.
Last month, Biti said some ministers did not even know what a mouse (referring to computer part) was and almost ran away when he made reference to it, thinking that he meant the small rodent.
In support of Biti’s efforts to secure a loan from China to purchase equipment for the 2G and 3G technology, Madzimure encouraged MPs who are technologically challenged to support the efforts to orient them into using new communication technologies.
Madzimure alleged some MPs did not want to use the 2G and 3G communication technology available on the Econet network because they felt the owner, Strive Masiyiwa, supported the opposition.
“I am of the opinion that the fact that it is going to be NetOne, those people (MPs) who are allergic to Econet because they think it belongs to the opposition will join in and use the technology,” he said.