By CHENGETO CHIDI
INFORMATION Communication Technology minister Jenfan Muswere has called on business to assist the government through mobilizing resources towards the mitigation and containment of the COVID-19 crisis, as part of Corporate Social Investment (CSI)
Addressing the business community at the unveiling of a renovated, Mpilo hospital, ward in Bulawayo, Muswere said, the private sector should not stand on the sidelines but also help government.
“During such a national crisis, it becomes imperative for cooperates, to assist the government by mobilizing resources, towards the mitigation and containment of the crisis,” Muswere said.
Government has been struggling for resources amid strikes by medical professionals over poor salaries and working conditions resulting in the near collapse of the health sector.
Hospital wards have reportedly become derelict, medicines and equipment in short supply forcing players like Telone and Netone to plough some of their profits back into public health infrastructure.
Muswere said the ICT Sector being a critical player and enabler supporting all other economic activities across all sectors was playing a leading role.
ICT players contributed to the COVID 19 National Response, through the donation of various ICT equipment and toll-free lines to facilitate the set-up of the Ministry of Health and Child Care National Emergency Call Centre Facility.
“The sector also contributed to the setting up of the 2023 Hotline to enable the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting services to effectively disseminate critical information during this COVID-19 season, this facility is also operational and working smoothly,” the minister said.
NetOne and TelOne resolved to collaborate as State Owned Entities in the Telecoms Sector on a 50/50 Joint COVID-19 Mitigation Corporate Social Investment Initiative and put together a combined total of ZWL$10 million towards both the immediate needs as well as medium to long term projects that seek to capacitate our public health facilities.