The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe, has launched the eâ€“government computers programme which will see the computerisation of all government departments.
Speaking during a brief presentation ceremony in the Cabinet Room at Munhumutapa Offices, Cde Mugabe said the e-government programme, which focuses on modernising government systems and processes through the use of information and communication technologies, is a part of the results-based management programme which government is implementing.While the world is fast-moving towards the reduction of paperwork and bureaucracy in government systems and processes, most governments in developing countries are still lagging behind.
With the launch of the e-government programme among government ministers, the country is working towards ensuring improvement of efficiency in the public service.
To officially launch the programme, President Mugabe presented a laptop and printer to Deputy Prime Ministers Thokozani Khupe and Professor Arthur Mutambara, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirayi and Vice Presidents John Nkomo and Joice Mujuru.
The fifth laptop went to the President.
The rest of the cabinet members received their computers and laptops at the end of the cabinet meeting in an adjacent room.
In his speech at the occasion, President Mugabe said, â€œChanging the mode of government operations through e-government will enhance governmentâ€™s ability to provide services to its citizens and stakeholders in an efficient and effective way.â€
He said implementation of the e-government programme will provide convenient online services and bring government services closer to the people.
He also noted that e-government will also improve communication between government and citizens and reduce government operating expenses.
The President paid tribute to the Ministry of Information Communication Technology and in particular Minister Nelson Chamisa, whom he referred to as the supersonic minister, for the sterling efforts in sourcing the laptops and printers for all the ministers.
The programme will also cascade down to deputy ministers, the public service commissioners, health services board members and all heads of ministries including principal directors in critical offices.
The launch of the e-government programme at cabinet room in Harare, marks the beginning of the retooling programme for government.
Meanwhile, Information Communication Technology Minister, Nelson Chamisa says his Ministry will work closely with that of Media, Information and Publicity to ensure the effective implementation of the e-government programme.
In an interview soon after the launch of the e-government programme by President Mugabe, Minister Chamisa said the programme will also include rural areas where the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity launched the information kiosks a few years ago to enable the grassroots to familiarise themselves with what government is doing.
He further explained that e-government will allow citizens to apply for important national documents online and save the costs of travelling to the countryâ€™s major cities and towns to acquire national documents.
He said interest groups including farmers will also be able to access valuable information pertaining to their sectors. The e-government programme is aimed at adding efficiency in government.