THE Bulawayo City Council has revealed that it is currently embracing new technology through accepting online bill payment and electronic meter readings to eliminate dishonest among employees and ensure transparency in service delivery.
BY SILAS NKALA
Acting town clerk, Sikhangele Zhou, said this during the Alpha Media Holdings Conversation meeting in Bulawayo on Friday.
“We also realised that the whole world is moving with time and we have tried to improve efficiencies by embracing technology,” Zhou said.
“You know many people say they do not pay their bills because they doubt the authenticity of our bills. We have started the electronic meter reading system that does not lie. When our meter reader sits under a tree and writes meter reading, it can’t feed into the system anymore.”
She said the meter reader has to put the meter reading gadget near the meter and it electronically feeds into the system and this was meant to cut dishonesty. She said this did not only cut dishonesty, but also increased efficiency on how the council delivers services and attend to its clientele.
Zhou said the system had not yet been rolled out, but it was being worked out and soon meter reading will be done electronically. Zhou said quite a number of gadgets had arrived.
“We have started to develop software to do online payments to make applications from our websites in computers electronically because we realised you do not want to move to city hall anymore,’’ she said.
She said there are a lot of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora who had properties in the city and would want to pay electronically from their various bases in the world.
Zhou said in most cases when these people sent money through relatives to pay their bills, the money would be diverted and this would eliminate that anomaly. She said this would make business operation in the city efficient and easy.
The acting town clerk said they realised that as a council, they were bureaucratic in their doing of things and would want to reduce the time taken by applicants who apply for development permits. She said they were trying to cut the time taken to approve the applications without skipping processes so as to promote business and development of the city.
AMH managing director Kenias Mafukidze said the media house was prepared to work with Bulawayo to revive its industrial base.