Harare needs $5m for computerisation: Official

HARARE - Harare City Council needs approximately $5 million for wide network connection to have all its district offices connected to Rowan Martin.

Acting finance director Tendai Kwenda told the Daily News the project has been on hold because of financial difficulties being experienced by the local authority.

He said currently Rowan Martin office had the only server in the local authority but it was not connected to other offices including Town House and Cleveland House.

“Computers can be installed at the various district offices but they will only be used for receipting,” he said adding that “once the offices are connected to Rowan Martin, billing will no longer be centralised there”.

He said there is a risk of manipulation of figures because they are reconciled after loading data on a flash disk.

Kwenda said with the way council was behind in reconciliation of bills, fraud through manipulation of figures could be realised way after the offence had occurred.

Last year, more than 14 employees were fired by council after they manipulated the BIQ billing system to swindle rate payers.

The sacked workers would target customers with large sums of credit and solicit bribes before auto debiting their accounts.

The acting finance director said there were suggestions to use fibre connectivity by riding on networks such as NetOne and Econet but, it would be costly.

However, acting town clerk Josephine Ncube said the China Exim Bank loan facility would be utilised to improve the billing system and make it more efficient.

“With the new system being computerised and connected, we hope that all offices can be able to update customers’ accounts and future aspirations are that residents can check their bills via our website,” Ncube said.

The Daily News understands that in its bid for connectivity, council applied for a radio licence and other connectivity fees with Potraz last year but there was no progress yet.

This year, they even paid some money to the regulatory authority but nothing has also materialised.

Recently, traffic enforcement, computerised the BIQ system to improve ticketing, data capturing and management of its activities.

HCC spokesperson Leslie Gwindi said implementing the traffic management module on the system would go a long way in capturing all issued tickets and managing information.

    Comments (7)

    $5m?

    rodger - 21 July 2014

    USD5 million for an IT project that is ridiculous, i just wonder how do Zimbabweans allow It projects to boggle so much at the expense of money generating or real service delivery projects. That figure is too much in Sa that is 50million rands, no ways USD900 000 can deliver a state of the art system.

    Computerboy - 21 July 2014

    Plain thieving! There is absolutely NO way it would cost that much to link the district offices in Harare to Rowan Martin. Kasi vakuto digger yavo fibre link here? Seriously this is now out of hand, the level of fraud is waaay too much now. This must be stopped.

    Guvnor - 21 July 2014

    Daylight robbery!Let me guess, they are looking for a foreign contract.Local companies don't charge enough.

    chris - 22 July 2014

    anopenga here murume uyu...Havana mari....why do we let people atke us for fools...we know things bt everyday we are told that we are stupid inour faces by these officials...ngaatikwanire zibenzi

    lolo - 22 July 2014

    The project of linking district office to Rowan Martin does not require that much. I understand City of Harare already has the main server in place and all they require now is connectivity to Rowan Martin from various district offices. VPN links would not cost that much considering that most parts of Harare now have fibre optic running through and 2Mbps links would suffice to access the main server. Even Wimax can do depending on how you want to connect to the main server. They can opt to run terminal services on the main server then purchase licences to allow remote connectivity. Remote desktop doesn't require much bandwidth because processing will be done on the main server.

    IT Wiz - 22 July 2014

    I think they wanted to say 50 000 usd not 5 million because ask even the most networked bank if they spend anything like that. Smeone is getting a cut pane mansion iri kutovakwaso. hey Chinamasa can you look at the councils you may get some civil servants salaries from there they have so much to spend that they can buy a 20000 server for 2 million, a 20 dollar router for 10 000, watch out.

    Maita Manyuka - 22 July 2014

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