Elita Chikwati

Senior Reporter

President Mnangagwa today launched the virtual Cabinet meeting system which will be used for Cabinet business.

This follows the decision by Cabinet to adopt a virtual system for its meetings as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid 19.

The system is user friendly while it ensures top notch security was developed using local software.

The technology will now see cabinet meetings being conducted at three different venues; the State House tent, Cabinet room and the Munhumutapa boardroom.

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda introduces President Mnangagwa and Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga(on his right) and Kembo Mohadi(to his left) to cabinet ministers at the inaugural cabinet virtual meeting, at State House tent in Harare, this morning.-Picture: Tawanda Mudimu

The technical team that developed the technology included the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Cabinet secretariat department, President’s department, Government internet services provider and the e-Government technology unit in the Office of the President and Cabinet.

President Mnangagwa said the virtual conferencing which was the new way of conducting business had been necessitated by the outbreak of Covid 19 and was part of the World Health Organisation guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease.

Cabinet ministers attend the inaugural cabinet virtual meeting, at Munhumutapa New Boardroom in Harare, this morning.-Picture: Innocent Makawa

“The outbreak of Covid 19 has necessitated the expedition of this process. Our virtual meeting will be held using a secure home grown system.

“All Government business will be conducted using the virtual system to avoid the sue of commercial platforms such as Zoom except when we will be hosted by our partners.

“Given the logistical requirements associated with system, Cabinet business shall be conducted strictly as per agenda,” he said.

Cabinet ministers attend the inaugural cabinet virtual meeting, at Munhumutapa New Boardroom in Harare, this morning.-Picture: Innocent Makawa

The President urged Cabinet members to embrace the new mode of doing business.

Chief secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said to ensure maximum security of information, the technical team developed an in-house virtual conferencing software application and virtual private networks for use in conducting Cabinet committee meetings.

Cabinet ministers attend the inaugural cabinet virtual meeting, at Cabinet Room in Harare, this morning.-Picture: Innocent Makawa

“We have distributed guidelines on virtual conferencing for Cabinet with a handbook which will be ready for distribution,” he said.

Head of e-Government technical team, Brigadier General Charles Hwekwete said the system comprised of hardware which was bought while the software was developed in-house within government and using Government owned ICT companies.

Cabinet ministers attend the inaugural cabinet virtual meeting, at Cabinet Room in Harare, this morning.-Picture: Innocent Makawa

“It is equivalent to Zoom but developed in a way that information will stay within the network to ensure security,” he said.