COMMENT: Vandals must be severely punished

The Chronicle

Multinational professional services network Deloitte believes the world is ever changing largely due to digital transformation.

“The global economy is undergoing a digital transformation as well, and it’s happening at breakneck speed.

“The digital economy is the economic activity that results from billions of everyday online connections among people, businesses, devices, data, and processes,” Deloitte further explains.

Zimbabwe’s economy has not been left behind.

Massive investment has been made in digital infrastructure and currently, 96 percent of all transactions in the country are through digital means with only four percent in cash.

The national vision to attain an upper middle-income economy with a US$65 billion GDP by 2030 is largely based on digital transformation.

In a report released last year, the World bank noted that Zimbabwe had made major digital advancements which were, however, “only a fraction of the country’s digital transformation growth potential.”

“To truly reap the digital dividends, the new digital economy in Zimbabwe needs to be inclusive to ensure that anyone – regardless of age, gender, income, or geographic location – has the ability to access digital tools and services,” said Jana Kunicova, World Bank task team leader and lead author of the Digital Economy for Zimbabwe Country Diagnostic Report.

It is, therefore, unfortunate that while the country is trying by all means to catch up with a global economy that is undergoing “breakneck speed” digital transformation, some Zimbabweans have the luxury to destroy critical infrastructure.

As we report elsewhere in this issue, Government is looking at effective ways to curb vandalism and theft of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, a major threat to digital advancements.

ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere expressed concern over the spate of vandalism and theft of public and private technology infrastructure.

He said landline and data services operator, TelOne, was one of the worst affected Government entities as it had recorded over 200 cases between January and August last year.

“We are ensuring that every centre and every strategic site has camera technology connected with state-of-the-art equipment that will help identify these culprits,” he said.

Well, it’s about time.

Vandalism is hurting the national economy and taking Zimbabwe back to the Stone Age.

To be part of the global economy, Zimbabwe needs infrastructure.

Vandals cannot dictate the pace at which the country develops.

As we have religiously reported before, thousands of families around the country are forced to live in the dark on a daily basis because of copper cable theft.

Productivity, livelihoods, health, services and entertainment are also affected by such heinous acts.

While Government must be swift in dealing with vandalism, it must be even more severe. Vandals and their sponsors must be met with the full might of the law.

If the World Bank believes that current strides in digital transformation are only a fraction of the country’s true potential, then the future is indeed bright.

The nation cannot be held back by a few greedy individuals who are willing to destroy the national economy in order to line their pockets with dirty money.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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