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ICT Bill to be tabled before Cabinet
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
October 07, 2011

THE Information Communication Technology Bill will soon be tabled before Cabinet after concerns raised by other ministries and government departments have been addressed, a Cabinet Minister said yesterday. Information Communication Technology Minister Nelson Cha-misa said there had been delays in finalising the Bill as government ministries sought convergence on some contentious issues.

He was giving oral evidence before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information Commu-nication Technology and Publicity chaired by Nketa MP, Mr Seiso Moyo (MDC-T).

Concerns have been raised in the past with some ministries accusing Minister Chamisa of encroaching into their functions and powers using the Bill.

He has been accused of trying to usurp the powers and functions of Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu and Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche.
Yesterday Minister Chamisa said he would be finalising consultations with other ministers and take the Bill to Cabinet before tabling it before Parliament.

"The ICT Bill is ready for Cabinet but is being delayed by the consultative process with other colleagues. We will try to remove some aspects which my other colleagues are not comfortable with," said Minister Chamisa. "When we completed the ICT Bill and brought it before Cabinet, there were concerns that I was trying to take with the right hand what had been taken away from me with the left hand. That I am trying to collapse other ministries."

Minister Chamisa said because of the inclusive nature the country is in, there was an awkward situation where ICTs are being run by three ministries.

This, he said, brought a challenge of bringing convergence in terms of regulation. He said Minister Shamu superintends the arm that deals with frequency allocation, while Minister Goche administers the organ that deals with interception of communication while he deals with internet and cyberspace issues; something he said brings a challenge in bringing convergence.

"This will lead to policy paralysis because the strides we have made are a tenth of what we can make. You have politics creeping in, friction, fighting for turf. It becomes a problem in terms of co-ordination," he said. Turning to the role by the private sector, Minister Chamisa said pricing structures were still high as people were still in the profiteering mentality that was prevalent during the Zim dollar era.

"There has not been a mindset shift. We have not heard the circumcision of the mindset," he said.

He said there was need for ICT awareness, particularly on televisions that certain sets would cease to work once the country migrates from analogue to digital in 2015.

On cyber security, he said consultations were still on going at national, regional, continental and global level to ensure convergence.

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