New system to track activities of councils

The Herald

Blessings Chidakwa

Municipal Reporter

A new and transparent electronic system for tracking daily activities of local authorities has been developed by the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) and adopted by 30 councils already, giving the power to monitor activity and a platform for ratepayers to pay bills.

The system automatically raises the red flag on suspicious transactions and monitors orders bought, delivered, delayed and some that may have failed to come on time.

Called the Local Authorities Digital Systems (LADS), the system has since been adopted by 30 local authorities countrywide, and others are in the process of implementing it.

The system gives the facility to register stands, track the waiting list and check the validity of leases via the WhatsApp platform.

The new system was handed over for launching to Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo by European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen, in Harare on Wednesday.

Ambassador Olkkonen applauded the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) for engaging councils so that such an initiative could be carried out.  The projects being implemented by CLGF have good results and this gives us confidence that our resources are being used for the rightful purpose of improving local authorities and people of Zimbabwe in general, he said.

Minister Moyo said the LADS was an important development.

“It is my pleasure and honour to receive LADS that has been developed by our own university, he said. Councils, as the beneficiaries, you should be the ones willing to demonstrate willingness to use the technology.

“I am glad the new innovation has already started bearing fruits to Mutare City Council which has managed to clear all its debts through the use of LADS system, which now monitors its financial systems. If the innovation can do for Mutare City Council, then it should do for everybody. Those councils that will struggle, we will assist them,” he said.

HIT Vice Chancellor Engineer Quinton Kanhukamwe said higher education was key in addressing national policy and ensuring that councils remain responsive to their mandates.

“Government’s Education 5.0 policy was already bearing fruit as it includes innovation and industrialisation,” he said.

“LADS has demonstrated the institute’s capacity to drive economic growth through innovation.

It will help save foreign currency as a number of institutions were using imported technologies,” he said.

The system has improved issues of accuracy, transparency and eradicating human error and allows for speedy generation of reports and timeous monitoring.

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