Government should step up efforts of availing information on its portal that appears to be dormant, a parliamentarian has said.
While other countries are pushing for intelligent Government (i-Gov) and smartgov, Zimbabwe is lagging behind in releasing critical information on the internet.
Members of the public have also bemoaned the unavailability of government information on the portal.
Speaking at the Media Institute of Sothern Africa (MISA) World Press Freedom Day breakfast meeting, ICT, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chair Hon Nelson Chamisa said much needs to be done to allow people access to Government information online.
“Our government portal is not as effective as it should be in terms of it being a portal of information. Our government is not available to the people.
“Government is not accessible to the people. And we could do better to ensure that we are accessible to the people as government,” he said.
“But it’s a good thing. The upside of it is people know you are there. You are able to communicate with them and personally if I was in the right position, I would make it compulsory for every minister to be on twitter and Facebook and get mauled by the people and explain yourself. I would say each minister and ministry should be on Facebook. That’s exactly what is in other countries,” he said.
With the phobia mainly linked to fear of engagement with the public, Chasi claims that the fear is more real than it is illusory.
“When I talk of fear, there is fear of Facebook. There is fear of Twitter. And the reality is if you are a politician and you are on Twitter you will be mauled. Ask some of us who are there. You are mauled if you are on twitter and facebook.
“When cellphones came, people were scared. Right now people are scared to talk to other people because they fear you are recording them. Those are some of the fears . they are are real not imaginary. Sometimes one would say, you want to talk to me ok, ndipe maphone ako ese aise apa. (leave your phones here with me) Switch them off, ndirikuda kunyatsoona kuti hausi kurecorda here (I want to make sure you’re not recording me)
“. You see what I mean, the fear is not something imaginary. Its real. Somebody would like to know if your phone does not take videos. Because ukatorwa video watoparara. (When one takes a video of you, you are doomed),” he said.