Zim ICT Achievers Awards : Just My 2 cents!

Toneo Rutsito

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Today I am writing the kind of an opinionated article every writer would never want to write. There is a lot at stake here, ladies and gentleman but bear with me as I tread on high waters and wish me luck to the other end.

The recently held ICT achievers awards 2012 were definitely a big success and a disappointment, all depending on the side of the coined you were tossed to.

Although expectations were high from various stakeholders it is only normal to come out with one winner after a certain race has been completed and there is nothing amiss about awarding whosoever the powers be deem fit.

What we can do or lobby is bring to public scrutiny is the yardstick used to ascertain such evaluation and the credibility of the process without fear or favour.

While the ministry of ICT

ICT achievers 2012
ICT achievers 2012

reserves the right to award whom it deems necessary, ICTs  in Zimbabwe are virtually affecting every facet of our livelihood and a very critical tool in shaping socio-economic status of Zimbabwe, hence interest across all stakeholders is inevitable.

ICT stake holders also have interests and a responsibility to make sure that they jealously guard the image and the integrity of our ICTs and its relevant bodies.

Lest we forget, the ICT achievers are run and owned by the government`s ministry which means its their show to run yes  but our responsibility too to make sure it measures up.

Ofcourse if you do not like the show you change the station, but that also entirely depends on whether there are other stations broadcasting or not otherwise you may be forced to brunt the effects of monopoly , or alternatively it’s a sign that its time we need more independent players in the industry.

It makes no sense to complain about the harp  being played next door especially when  a majority are enjoying the tune, (or at least act as if they are.)

When history repeats itself and the obviously deserving giants like Econet keep scooping awards is honestly not a cause for concern, but when we barely have clean tap water and reward companies like ZINWA as  SuperBrands puts every award to  question including the obviously deserving ones.(This happened last night)

Probably what we can question is the selection process especially on the background that we have already raised some unanswered questions and some have been  raised by our friends with TechZim  too.

Unlike other awards, the ICT achievers did not have any monetary value even to the small bodies or individuals who walked away with a first.

Under such circumstances we could have trashed the awards as a nonentity but in our case, we are  so passionate about ICTs that we still feel that the  rightfully deserving players should be honoured after they contribute, so it’s definitely not about money but recognition.

“Thank You sir/madam we appreciate your input and fully recognise it!”

The Mistakes
Awarding swithed off websites and reportes who hanged their boots more than a year ago is sickening!

One obviously flawed process which the ministry used and other organisations too, is to ask contestants to make a profile write up about themselves.

This  is good as asking the contestants to convince you if they are good enough and entirely based on their report be it genuine, fabricated or exaggerated. While that formula obviously makes judgement or adjudication easy, it also makes judging pointless as the job is no longer for the judges but the contestant to simply prove.

Ofcourse under normal circumstances, a well-informed follow up should then be initiated to quantify and analyse the given testimony by the contestant.

Real ICT achievers do not need to prove to anyone, we see their works on ground every day, we use their products as enablers every day, we connect via their infrastructure reliably, we read their online blogs every morning for years, we use their background servers as hosting, their databases platforms and have managed to escape exorbitant charges via their alternative platforms.

These are the players which adjudicators should be analysing and make informed decisions on.

The “You have to be in it to win it” is a good rule but should we beat our chest after winning against known giants who have never contested. Should that rule be more superior to the work the players actually contributed?

A well written citation can make anyone win but when we use that as the only yardstick without well informed work on ground makes the whole adjudication process flawed.

That will also call for the unmasking of the “anonymous” adjudicating team to prove that they can bite as much as they bark.

Zimbabweans love Technology, Our ICT minister Chamisa is passionate about it, We are making world record news in ICT development.

Let there be not be organisations, individuals or spooky characters who deem themselves superior and be allowed to derail such national pride.

Viva ICTs! A luta continua 

 

 

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