The ICT Achievers Awards 2013, In Introspection, The Good, Bad and the Ugly

By Tonderai Toneo Rutsito
The Zimbabwe`s ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Service (ICTPCS) held the grand ICT achievers awards 2013 last weekend where they awarded Zimbabwe`s Top finest in various ICT related sectors at a colorful event graced by the nation`s top ICT Players.
In a perfectly attended event, literally hundreds of Zimbabwe`s Top ICT players, were represented filling up to capacity the University of Zimbabwe`s Great Hall at a well organised red carpet event.

VC Kurasha ICT achievers awards

Speaking during the official opening of the event the guest of Honour, Vice Chancellor of Zimbabwe Open University Primrose Kurasha,  highlighted the need to develop ICTs to solve our daily problems and commended all the players for the tremendous efforts they have put to drive ICTs in Zimbabwe.
She greatly commended Zimbabweans for technological uptake and was charmed by the live online streaming a first of its kind in Zimbabwe, powered by TechnoMag, Zimbabwe`s Technology Magazine.

A total of 16 various national categories were being contested these are the full winner`s results and their runner ups.

Here is the full list                                                 Winners                                                                   Runner Ups

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe 2 Axis Solutions 3. Digi Voice
Netone  2g , 3g expansion by Zim Liason officer for Huawei Tech investment .2 Energise the chain by Econet, 3 Sales Force automation
 Chartered Systems Integration (Zimra Payment Online sys) runner up Netone  2g , 3g expansion by Zim Liason  3 solar energy and palm tree based stations by Netone
 Douglas Mboweni (Econet CEO)  Mr Makamure runner up Reward Kangai
 Divine Ndlukula of Securico   2st runner Rumbidzai Mlambo and Aetha Mare of Payroll resource consultants
 Econet Wireless Zimbabwe  No Contestants
Rutsito Tonderai Tapiwa Machemedze ZBC & Tafadzwa Zimoyo aka  Swaggat of Lifestyle
Sadomba mahari Computer (Pvt) limited runner-up Model business services&. Derick R Goto
Natural History Museum Of Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Of Zimbabwe
Munyaradzi Gwatidzo, Tawanda Chikosi & Alvin Moyo
Chinhoyi University Of Technology Kwekwe Polytechnic College
Marange High School Mwenezi Gvt high & Chidhudhuma
St Christopher Primary ZRP High ZRP High School & Nketa High
Steward Bank NO Takers!
Courier Connect NO Takers!
Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Ministry Ministry of Defence

The Good

The Government`s ministry with very limited or no resources at all all managed to pull such a function of great magnitude, with less than 3 months after the new government was formed, most people were not even sure whether the ministry would continue to exist but they soldiered on.

Group Photo ICT Achievers awards 2013

Contrary to the misconception, “the ministry did not choose the winners but a panel of private adjudicators CHOSE by the ministry did”, divulged a source within the ministry.

Simple Rule: You have to be in it to win it, some players never nominated themselves or at all got nominated, this was in violation of the clear rules hence they played fiddle or no show at all. I quote” You cannot claim your daughter deserves the Miss Zimbabwe title yet she is laid back in her bedroom while others contested no matter how beautiful and smart she could be”

The Bad
A case of sour grapes, losers jammed my inbox, they twitted in bitterness and blogged in disapproval of the whole process, well this is just normal. I am sure if they had won they would be showering praises to the whole selection process, an unfortunate incident and probably here and there History repeated itself.

Like all other national awards, forgive my ignorance but I don’t think the likes of Douglas Mboweni, Reward Kangai and Wellington Makamure are top businessman, rather they are executives, they do not own the business they run their business and probably we could expect the ministry to shift from that National stance and recognise the business owners not employees.

Since adjudicators are renowned ICT players, we could have really expected some serious homework on other categories and clarity on categories like web developers and designers, the two words are miles apart.

Sadomba Mahari Computers won mostly because they are targeting and enabling small players who cannot afford to be online at very low costs hence they are impacting lives at SME level as designers not developers.
ICT equipment brands or COMSA players had a no show.

Group Photo ICT Achievers awards 2013 bOf course Steward bank has not a functional website, neither does it have a single ATM, nor does it support e-banking yet it won, on the flip side it is Zimbabwe`s biggest bank against all banks combined and it supports the biggest ICT based Ecocash which has impacted greater lives so yes on that merit it deserves yet independently it does not deserve.

The Ugly
The major attention here is probably the golden rule; “you have to be in it to win it”.

Unfortunately these are current rules of the game prescribed to everyone and technically the ministry was perfectly right by awarding only the players nominated.

Thus said, I beg to attack the same rule too. IT does bring national significance to award small players yet big national players are there simply because they never contested.

Some categories definitely deserved to be won by some renowned players, a case of “web designers” like C2 media and Webdev completely missing in the show is a cause of concern. Ministry of finance and health pprobablyve the biggest ICT programmes rolling out with Liquid Telecoms running their back bone. ICTs in Health recently hogged the limelight and having a no show from these players is worrisome.

The ministry cited lack of resources in skipping yesteryear categories disadvantaging other players as it has become a fact that Telecel Zimbabwe has definitely become the most improved MNO and arguably the fastest growing and innovative in voice packages.

Courier Connect, has no functional website or other international services but why did the other players like DHL and FedEx never contested.

Liquid Telecoms has got all the international awards but at home it has not been recognised not mentioning their great Fibre To Home FTH project.

Top ICT Innovators achievers awards 2013 just doing it wrong

Telone is probably one of the parastatals which deserves thumbs up for the serious somersault, they are reinstating national infrastructure, breathing life to copper via ADSL and equally competing on fibre with private players, adjudicators too would have made this common cause.

Potraz as a regulator was supposed to play a part here in helping in the selection process, they oversee the process but since we do not know the adjudicators we hope things improve.

The Bigger Picture.

Every ICT player in Zimbabwe is contributing to the growth of ICTs, some are good, but others are the best at it, The government with limited resources did the best it could, I presume, but definitely they need hats off for pulling through.

Most of the winners however were not debatable and well deserving except some one or two categories were other players chose not to even nominate themselves and blame the ministry thereafter.


technomag staffer and directorsOf course as the ministry is running the awards it also needs to change the criterion used and probably add young blood to their adjudicating team in tandem with new technologies so that the awards get bigger and better.

My 2 cents.
I would suggest that a separate day be held, where captains of industry in various categories, who actually know the players and their competitors are also asked to secretly vote for two or so players as nominees, hence we do not have the ministry doing all the work, neither will we have renowned players missing from the list

Nicole Madziwa

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