President Robert Mugabe yesterday unexpectedly warmed up to the MDC-T at the launch of the e–government computer programme spearheaded by Information Communication Technology (ICT) minister Nelson Chamisa, describing him as a “supersonic minister”.
The youthful, but sharp-tongued Chamisa sourced over 300 laptops and printers and donated part of the consignment to the country’s top six in the inclusive government — President Mugabe, his two Vice-Presidents John Nkomo and Joice Mujuru, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Ministers Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara.
This, Chamisa said, was part of his ministry’s result-based management and e-government programme.
Zimbabwe’s computerisation system has been mothballed for over decade owing to the unavailability of power mainly in rural schools, where the gadgets, most of which were donated by President Mugabe throughout the country under the Presidential Schools Computerisation Programme, have been gathering dust.
President Mugabe handed over the computers and printers to his immediate lieutenants in the shaky coalition.
Hailing the fruits of the programme, President Mugabe described the outspoken Chamisa as a “supersonic minister”, whose initiative was set to improve government operations.
President Mugabe was quoted on the ZBC website saying: “Changing the mode of government operations through e-government will enhance government’s ability to provide services to its citizens and stakeholders in an efficient and effective way.”
Meanwhile, Chamisa, the youngest minister in the inclusive government at 33, said the scheme was part of an ongoing thrust to enable government leaders to familiarise and transform the country towards information communications technology (ICT).
“Gone are the days when it used to be fashionable to carry suitcases of papers in the corridors of government offices. We have to move with the times and be on the ICT platform,” said Chamisa.
“We want everyone to access documents online which also includes birth certificates, government information and also parliamentary information online.” The rest of the Cabinet received their computers and laptops yesterday, Chamisa said.
The programme will also cascade down to deputy ministers, Public Service commissioners, Health Services Board and all heads of ministries including principal directors in critical offices.