HARARE – Computers donated by deposed Robert Mugabe to promote E-learning are still lying idle at various schools because the institutions do not have electricity, Information Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira has revealed.
Mandiwanzira, who graced most of the occasions when Mugabe donated the gadgetry, revealed this in the National Assembly last week after he was asked by MDC’s Magwegwe legislator, Anele Ndebele, what government was doing to assist schools which received those machines, but do not have computer teachers.
In his response the ICT minister admitted that many computers that were donated by Mugabe were lying idle.
“The former president donated several computers to schools that exist in very poor communities. I could cite Nhlambabaloyi as an example.
“(Due to) lack of teachers, those computers were never used and now a good number of them are obsolete so to speak. Could there be a plan in place to replace these computers and assist the affected communities?”
“The former president donated computers that became obsolete before they were actually used, it is true that in a number of circumstances, the schools lacked the initiative themselves either to buy a small generator so that they could use these computers or put up solar infrastructure so that they could power the computers,” he acknowledged.
“They (schools) buy buses and the parents contribute to buy these buses. We believe that if they prioritise also putting up power in order to power these computers so that kids can learn computers on a daily basis that would actually be very helpful.”
Norton Independent MP Temba Mliswa weighed in arguing that the Energy ministry and Mandiwanzira’s must work together to ensure the computers are put to use.
“I think what is important about these programmes is also what the Ministry is doing in terms of also working with the Energy ministry in terms of power.
“We do not want to have a repeat of the former President who gave computers to schools that did not have electricity. If you look at Norton for example, there is Chitenderano,” he said.
“It is important that they actually work together to try and complement each other because it does not make sense for them putting this yet there is no power.
“ It is a right minister for people to have electricity, so it is not the schools that must find money to put electricity. It is like water, it is a right that they have it.”