Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) has conducted a survey analysis of government ministries presence in digital space. The survey revealed that:
🕸️ 18 of 21 Ministries have websites
👑 Only 13 ministries listed their leadership on websites
🏛️ Only 2 ministried listed provincial contacts on websites
🕊️20 of the 21 Ministries have Twitter accounts
🙈20 of the 21 ministries have Facebook pages BUT ONLY 12 are active. Some facebook pages were last updated in 2017
📱Only 22% of the Ministries listed their mobile contacts in their websites
🤳 All ministries DID NOT provide their whatsapp contact details in their digital spaces.
Access to government ministries on digital space is important for enhancing human rights protection and promotion as well as social accountability. This is mainly critical during the Covid19 pandemic where lockdowns limit citizens’ movements to government offices.
The survey therefore recommends that:
All government Ministries to have their websites activated and updated with information all the time for easy access to information for Zimbabweans and the international community inline with Constitutional provisions as enunciated in Section 62 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.;
2. Ministry Officials/Leadership and Contact Details
In all government websites there should be a complete list of the principals (Minister, Deputy Minister and Permanent Secretary) and senior Management at both headquarters and provincial levels. These listings need to be accompanied by specific email, landline, cellphone, twitter, and WhatsApp contacts of these officials and or their personal assistants/secretaries. This will be in line with the principles of civic engagement, public participation, accountability and transparency;
3. New Digital Media
- All government ministries are implored to fully utilize new digital media platforms (such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp) to provide citizens current information and to receive communication from the public considering that these media platforms are the most used by citizens and provide easier and cheaper communication channels;
- Ministries’ new digital media contacts should be public contact details and be linked to the Ministries’ websites.
- 4. Provincial Contacts Details
Ministries need to list publicly (in their websites and as pinned posts in their Twitter timelines) provincial contact details (name of provincial head, physical address, landline, cellphone, email, whatsapp) and this will be in line with the principles of Devolution of Power and local civic engagement as espoused in the Constitution of Zimbabwe and various government policies.