GPA rows delay border Internet connectivity

The slow implementation of the Global Political Agreement has stalled progress in the installation of Internet connectivity at the country’s border posts, Parliament heard on Tuesday.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Regional Integration and International Co-operation Tadeous Chifamba told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and Integration that connectivity at border posts was being hampered by bickering among the coalition government partners.

“Due to political problems and 90% lack of implementation of the Global Political Agreement, Zimbabwe has been facing ICT connectivity challenges at border posts,” said Chifamba.

“If goods are declared on other sides of the border, for example in Botswana where there is connectivity, it becomes difficult to then clear them fast on the Zimbabwean side due to lack of connectivity, but Zimra (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority) is working on the issue.”

Chifamba told the committee, chaired by Zaka East MP Samson Mukanduri, the country’s international development partners always referred to the slow implementation of the GPA each time joint venture projects were about to be sealed.

He also told the committee that his ministry had not yet accessed the bulk of its 2012 budget allocation.

“So far we were given $1 678 000 for rentals, salaries, electricity and phone bills. Already, 20% of the budget is going to CMED (Central Mechanical Engineering Department) for hire of vehicles since the ministry is failing to secure its own vehicles. TelOne also raised their bills and backdated them to the Zimbabwe dollar era, resulting in failure to properly reconcile the bills,” he said.

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