Business Community Development Science and Technology

Computers come in handy for social work, public services and employment creation

Hon Matuke (2nd from right) receives a computer while senior government officials look on

Computers received by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare from the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services will propel the former’s key mandates in the provision of inclusive social protection, labour disputes resolution, fostering a conducive labour market environment, job creation and placement for job seekers.

This emerged yesterday when Hon Dr. Jenfan Muswere handed over 160 desktop computers to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare under the ICTs4e-government Service Program.

Receiving the donation on behalf of the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Prof Paul Mavima, Hon Lovemore Matuke, a deputy minister for the same ministry said the gesture by the ICT ministry was in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) economic blueprint that identifies ICTs as one of the key enablers in achieving Vision 2030.

Pursuant to that, he said it becomes imperative for the Ministry’s services to be digitalized in order to achieve the National Vision “Towards an empowered and prosperous upper middle-income society by 2030.

Zimbabwe, like all other countries globally, has been awakened to the need to use digital platforms in offering its services by the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic which necessitated the introduction of lockdown measures to contain the pandemic. As a Social Services provider, the Ministry of Public Service was therefore required to remain active and assist millions of people that required urgent assistance due to loss of income and livelihoods.

My Ministry of Public Service has four technical departments which are operating in all ten provinces of the country. These are Social Development, Disability Affairs, Labour Administration, and Employment Services and Promotion.

These Departments have, as key mandates; provision of inclusive Social Protection, Labour disputes resolution, fostering a conducive labour market environment, and job creation, and placement for job seekers. In pursuit of these mandates, the application of Information Technology is no longer an option, but a vital tool for digital-based service delivery.

The Ministry has therefore identified the following twenty (20) online solutions under the E-Government flagship(program):

Social Development

  • PVO Application, Application for a Children’s Home and Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM)

Labour Administration

  • Application for a Designated Agent,
  • Registration of an Employer’s organization
  • Registration of a Trade Union,
  • Registration of Employment Code of Conduct or Amendment,
  • Case Management,
  • Variation of scope of a Trade Union,
  • Variation of scope for an Employers’ organization,
  • Variation of scope for an Employment Council,
  • Application for collective Bargaining,
  • Registration of an employment council,
  • Application for Minimum Retrenchment Package
  • and Show cause order

Employment Services and Promotion

  • Application for change of premises, change of manager and change of owner of Private Employment Agencies
  • Notification of vacancy by an Employer, Application for Employment Placement, Application for Registration of a Private Employment Agency

Disability Affairs

  • Disability Loan Application

The web-based online services will increase the ease of access to Ministry services thereby enhancing and simplifying service delivery.

Hon Matuke said the donation will therefore go a long way in equipping all the Provincial and District offices in preparation for the deployment of the e-services solutions in the first quarter of 2023.

Apart from the E-Government flagship project, the Public Service Ministry is also developing the Zimbabwe Integrated Social Protection Management Information System. The system is now in the pilot phase starting with Cyclone Idai-affected districts.

The system will register all the vulnerable households in the country and the type of assistance that each household is receiving from the Government. This includes Social Protection programs such as the Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy (FDMS) programme in rural areas, Cash for Cereals targeting the urban population, the Harmonized Social Cash Transfers(HSCT) a program that assists vulnerable households with cash, the Basic Education Assistance Module(BEAM) program which pays school fees for vulnerable children and the Assisted Medical Treatment Order (AMTO) program which pays medical bills for vulnerable groups of the society. The Integrated Social Protection Management Information System will ultimately guide policymakers in making evidence-based decisions for the betterment of the livelihoods of vulnerable communities across the country.

Dr. Gift Machengete, the Directo-General of the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority said his institution has heeded a request from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare for computers to assist in the Ministry’s transition from manual to electronic systems, as they move with the times.

Under the e-government program, the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Hon. Dr. Jenfan Muswere, yesterday handed over a total of 160 computers to the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social welfare.

Dr. Machengete said as the nerve centre of government, the Ministry of Public Service will deploy the computers to their Electronic case management system, Labour market information system, Registration, and placement system and for the creation of an electronic retrenchee database. The computers will also be used to improve on inspections and dispute resolution among other functions by the Ministry.

Apart from the Ministry of Public Service, POTRAZ has also donated computers and connectivity to the Zimbabwe Republic Police as part of the e-government program. The e-government program which is ongoing will also benefit other Ministries and Government departments.

“In the short to long term, we envision seeing citizens accessing government services from Community Information Centres (CICs). Our vision is to bring convenience to the people while decongesting government offices. We would like to see people applying for passports, birth and death certificates, and other national documents from CICs. We would like people to apply for liquor licences and register companies from CICs or even from their mobile phones. For this to succeed, the whole of the government should be online and should have reliable ICT systems to support this.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hon. Dr Muswere for championing the e-government program, where we envision seeing the whole government doing away with manual systems and adopting ICTs in their work. The Hon Minister is also championing the e-learning, e-health, and e-agriculture programs in the country and has made remarkable strides under these programs,” Dr. Machengete said.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende