An Information Management Framework for the Support of E-Government in Zimbabwe

  • Mehluli Masuku
  • Sindiso Bhebhe
  • Njabulo Bruce Khumalo
Emneord (Nøkkelord): e-government, transparency, trust

Sammendrag

It has come as a fact that the use of Information and Communication Technologies has come to stay in this world. It aids the implementation of the emerging and irresistible e-government concept that seems to be the in-thing the world over. Zimbabwe has also joined the world by ascertaining its commitment to e-government as witnessed by its promulgation of various e-government services. However, despite the government of Zimbabwe having committed itself to e-government, it is of concern to note that up to this day, the country is operating without a clear information management policy or strategy that will guide and direct all the information management practitioners in the country. This comes as a great weakness in this day and age when the government of Zimbabwe has declared its intentions to subscribe to the e-government concept both in principle and in practice. Although the country has managed to survive without a clearly defined information policy in the pre e-government era, chances of it rolling out an effective and sustainable e-government policy on the same foundation are very slim, given the importance of well managed information as a pillar of sound e-government. The paper employed document analysis as its methodology in which Zimbabwe National Information and Communication Policy (ICT) Policy Framework of 2005 and the Ministry of Information Communication Technology’s (MICT) Strategic Plan (2010-2014) were reviewed and assessed the extent to which they sufficed to serve as information management frameworks that can support e-governance in Zimbabwe. The study revealed that there are ICT policies that are meant to serve as ICT strategies for the country but none of them has been put to test and such policies are very piecemeal at best as far as their coverage of information management is concerned. The first policy of such nature was the Zimbabwe National Information and Communication Policy (ICT) Policy Framework of 2005 that was developed by the government of Zimbabwe. This was followed by the Ministry of Information Communication Technology’s (MICT) Strategic Plan (2010-2014) which was being led by the then Minister Nelson Chamisa in the Government of National Unity (GNU). Following the dismantling of the GNU, the MICT was also dismantled and a new Ministry known as the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services that was headed by then Minister Webster Shamu came up with a new draft policy to guide ICT in Zimbabwe. Ironically, that new policy did not see the light as the then Minister was relieved of his duties and the new and incumbent Minister; Mr Supa Mandiwanzira came up with a new draft to guide the ICT operations in Zimbabwe. Despite all these developments, it remains of concern to notice that none of these policies ever prioritised information management as a strategic pillar of e-government. It is the argument of these authors that without the country’s e-government strategy being governed by a sound information management policy that will ensure the creation, management, and preservation of information, the concept will suffer the consequences in retrospect, to the detriment of the concept and the citizens. The study further revealed that the present policies are only addressing technical issues such as network and infrastructural issues of information management, yet other important aspects such as preservation, disposal and legal issues of information management are neglected. The study recommends a new framework that is comprehensive in terms of all the facets of information management. The framework covers all the relevant information management players such as archivists, librarians, records managers and the ICT personnel who should work together so as to collectively manage national information that support e-governance which Zimbabwe has just embarked on. The study further recommends that every government department has an information manager and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services should be the one in charge of the information management framework and oversee its implementation. 

Forfatterbiografier

Mehluli Masuku
Mehluli Masuku is a lecturer in the Department of Records and Archives Management at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Zimbabwe. He holds a Master of Philosophy Degree in Records and Archives Management from the same University and is a Doctor of Literature and Philosophy (Information Science) candidate at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He lectures in courses such as Comparative Archives Systems, Research Methods in Information Science and Information Management in the Health Services. His research interests lie in ICTs and health information management including Electronic Health Records, professional issues in information management and indigenous knowledge systems. Mr Masuku has published in peer reviewed journals such as the ESARBICA Journal, Mousaion and the SASA Journal. Mr Masuku has also contributed two book chapters and presented over eleven papers at local and international conferences.
Sindiso Bhebhe

Sindiso Bhebhe is a Principal Archivist at the National Archives of Zimbabwe. He is a part time tutor of records, archives and library courses at the Zimbabwe Open University. He holds a Master of Library and Information Science Degree from the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe. He also hold a certificate on short course of modern library practices from the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training in Chennai, India.  At the present moment he is doing a Doctorate in Information Science with the University of South Africa. He has attended and presented academic articles on numerous local and international conferences which deal mainly with the library and archival issues. He is part of the Africa research team in the International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems [InterPARES] Trust. He is a member of the Oral History Association of South Africa. He has published academic articles on the issues of oral history, archival infrastructure and archival diplomatics in international journals. 

Njabulo Bruce Khumalo

Njabulo Bruce Khumalo is a holder of a Master of Philosophy degree in Records and Archives Management from the University of Science and Technology.  He has published papers and book chapters in the areas covering health information systems, freedom of information, records and archives management, archival education and professionalism, standards in records and archives management and the application of technology in information management. Mr. Khumalo has also presented a number of papers in local, regional and international conferences. He is a also a member of the Oral History Association of South Africa (OHASA). 

Publisert
2017-02-21
Hvordan referere
Masuku, M., Bhebhe, S., & Khumalo, N. B. (2017). An Information Management Framework for the Support of E-Government in Zimbabwe. Tidsskriftet Arkiv, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.7577/ta.1960
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