Wednesday, 2 September 2020

GLITCHES BLIGHT FIRST PARLY VIRTUAL SITTING


The House of Assembly’s inaugural virtual sitting that started on Tuesday and continued yesterday was blighted by technical  glitches.

The Zoom platform had poor sound quality, with some legislators failing to participate on the first day and could not be allocated limited places in the House.

Legislators on the podium could not be heard and were invisible as no cameras would focus on them.

On the first day, those using tablets and sitting outside the chamber could not be connected, although the problem was fixed the following day. 

Journalists were not spared as only four were allowed in the Press gallery as the Parliament administration took preventive measures to reduce the risk of spreading  Covid-19.

On Tuesday, legislators who were not in the chamber, who included Matabeleland South MP Ms Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Magunje MP Cde Cecil Kashiri (Zanu PF), protested over their failure to participate after they were told that available gadgets did not allow them to participate  virtually.

Several legislators who were not in the chamber could be heard interjecting, complaining that they intended to participate, but the presiding officer, Cde Tatenda Mavetera told them that the available gadgets would not allow this.

Legislators who were not in the Chamber were able to participate from their tablets, but some still struggled to participate as they did not know how to connect. 

In an interview yesterday, Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda admitted that they experienced technical glitches, but said it was normal whenever a new system was being introduced.

“There will always be challenges with any new initiatives. It will take a bit of time for all of us to get used to using virtual means to participate in meetings as we go through a learning curve.

“We will continue to assess the situation and take the necessary corrective action to make the connections better. This is a necessary alternative that we have to use to safeguard the health of everyone,” said Mr Chokuda. Herald

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