Internet woes a huge setback to devolution'

By Staff reporter | 18 Jul 2019 at 12:09hrs
Local authorities here have described the lack of Internet connectivity as a major setback to the roll-out of the devolution agenda.

Speaking at a recent devolution meeting, Vungu Rural District Council acting chief executive Mr Arnold Chikwira said lack of Internet connectivity in key Government offices in districts has resulted in the absence of essential data which is necessary for planning and development.

"We are calling on Government to capacitate all district offices with access to internet connectivity so that we are able to share essential data which will then be used to plan, monitor and adjust our development plans in our areas of jurisdiction. Currently most offices have disaggregated data on key demographic, social and economic information," he said.

Gweru district administrator Mr Jorum Chimedza said public infrastructure such as schools, health centres and all Government offices required urgent internet connection in order to improve the ease of doing business.

"Internet connectivity will enable us to communicate effectively and collaborate where necessary," he said.

"Currently we are facing challenges on obtaining key statistical data when planning for new developments."

Midlands has a total of 1 212 schools and 893 of these are owned by rural district councils. The council-run primary and secondary schools in the province are the most affected in as far as accessing latest technology.

Of the 893 schools, 498 have electricity which is a requirement for Internet facilities to be connected. Acting provincial development coordinator, Mr Albiot Maronge, challenged rural authorities to come up with district profiles which clearly identifies specific needs and opportunities for various wards.

"Devolution requires that we move away from being mere recipients of development projects brought in by non-governmental organisations," he said.

"You must be able to determine where projects are implemented.

"We have often seen scenarios where development projects are only executed in areas along major roads which are easily accessible. Now you must be able to direct the NGO's to areas where there is need. For example in Vungu RDC, water and sanitation projects must be done in the newly resettled areas."



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