There is no need for government to waste resources on building more data centres when the country already has some which are functional, a Parliamentarian has said.
Zaka Central legislator Paradzai Chakona said this recently at the ICT,Postal and Courier Services Parliamentary Portfolio Committee meeting on Monday.
By TechnoMag Reporter
He said an area on concern was on data centres noting that TelOne built a very robust data centre at Mazowe, have a data disaster recovery centre in Harare and are even looking for companies to rent space on that infrastructure.
Despite the TelOne data centres, ICT ministry is working on building a data centre at the Central Computing Service for about US$6 million the same cost spent by TelOne.
“The University of Zimbabwe spent another US$6million for a high performance computer which is almost the same as the data centre that we are talking about, an intelligent computer that they have put at the cost of US$6million and it is running right now at UZ.
“That computer has managed to link all the universities and they are using it only as an intelligent tool not even to warehouse data. So, these are all duplications that are happening within government and draining the fiscus of the much needed revenue. I think there is need to harmonise the way government is operating so that it knows what the right hand is doing and the left hand is doing,” said Chakona.
Chakona also said Government can overcome some of its financial challenges by dealing with massive duplication of roles and company ownership.
Chakona said situation is unsustainable as it puts too much pressure on treasury as most of the companies are in need of consistent bail-out.
“I also just want to highlight that there is a lot of duplication of roles in government, for example, in ICT we have got Power-Tel which is owned by ZESA, we have ZARNET which is owned by the Ministry of ICT and then we also have NetOne and TelOne. All these are companies that are offering almost similar services and yet they are state enterprises, they have got boards, management and infrastructure, they are also competing on infrastructure doing almost exactly the same thing and I would recall that TelOne had a loan approved by this Parliament of US$98m wanting to upgrade their infrastructure.
“NetOne is also doing the same thing; they are also approaching government wanting to borrow money to improve on their infrastructure. That infrastructure is almost the same. If you look at the fiber network roll out in this nation, we have got almost 5 companies all doing exactly the same in this nation. They are all importing fiber network and they are all building infrastructure between Harare and Bulawayo.
“Right now I think we have got more than 5 to 6 fiber networks between Harare and Bulawayo and it is 5 trenches all going the same direction. That fiber is imported at very high cost and the nation is losing foreign currency and revenue which is supposed to be used in this nation,” he said.
He also called for the harmonisation of education ministries arguing that there was no clear benefit in separating them adding that if we have to establish a ministry that has to be a stand alone, it has to be the ministry of Science and Technology so that it looks at how the country can develop science and technology.