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Ministry of Education accused of stealing idea for eMAP online enrolment system

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The Minister of Education Lazarus Dokora

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The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has been accused of stealing the idea for its eMAP online enrolment system which has been adopted as the primary registration platform for pupils seeking boarding school places for Form 1.

In an interview on national radio station Star FM on Tuesday evening, the Minister of Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora, was asked by the host of the talk show to respond to allegations levelled by a company from Harare called Purple Divine Technology that the concept for the system which was pitched to the Ministry had been used without the company’s approval.

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This was despite the assurances that the Ministry was going to work together with Purple Divine Technology in the implementation of the concept.

The basis of this questioning during the show was a letter in Star FM’s possession from Purple Divine Technology’s legal representatives Warara and Associates.

In response, an evasive Dokora did not give an explanation to clear up the issue but instead pointed out how the issue hadn’t been brought to his attention as there was legal representation that would deal with such matters.

The allegations have added more controversy to the eMAP system which despite its opportunity to improve the enrolment process has faced a lot of criticism for a number of operational shortcomings plus the slow responses to applications submitted.

15 thoughts on “Ministry of Education accused of stealing idea for eMAP online enrolment system

  1. The idea remain that, a concept which is nothing until implemented. Why didnt Purple Divine Technology implemented it before then maybe patent it. If there was an agreement, all the need to do is produce the signed paperwork.

    This just shows how limited our country IT ecosystem is, grown-up men fighting over any idea. In other parts of the world, people and companies do actually gather to share concepts and ideas. People go away and implement such concept, whichever one is well planned and executed wins

    I have on several occasions attended such events and come out a bit informed sometime to the extend of changing the way l do things.
    I can stretch this a little bit and say thats how Open Source functions.

    1. Purple Divine made an error in rushing to the press. They should have given dialogue a chance. In addition Purple Divine must not react as if themselves they developed the application without stealing a single line of code, if we are to see Purple Divine computers its most likely that they are running on illegal pirated softwares, and have hoardes of other illegal acquired softwares including music and videos that is on their machine and therefore they must not behave like a saint. Anywhere I think stealing from each ideas in the tech ecosystem is very very good. The more people steal from each other then the more startups we will get and if those startups steal from each other again we will get more startups and if we have many more startups the quality of services tend to improve.

  2. actually if ministry stole process and implementation similar to purple then thy have to pay don’t be so shallow even in other parts of the world you CNT wake up and design something revolutionary all the time. its like in marketing all things have been done before but if you steal me plan of attack you have a case to answer and a cheque to write

    1. How do you steal a process and implementation? If thats the case, then Warara is going to make a lot of money from Purple trying to convince the court, and that means more court hours which purple will have to pay

  3. Lol, this is nothing new in Zimbabwe. And if one was to dig deeper I would not be surprised if Purple Divne themselves stole the idea from somewhere else probably in the diaspora. They should just grow up and eat with it. Microsoft stole the GUI idea from Apple and made billions of it but Apple didn’t mope around and cry, they understood that it was a business risk and moved on. Lesson to all, take steps to guard yourself.

    1. But if I steal money from somewhere and before I get to use it you also steal from me, that doesnt justify the fact that you have stolen.

      Stealing remains criminal, unethical and immoral, whether you steal a stolen product.

      1. Did they steal the software or the idea? Unless they put a patent on the software it’s very hard to trademark or protect an idea.

  4. Well Purple Divine does not have much of a case really. If they have the idea then then have it, but you cannot patent a software idea. This is why we have Whatsapp, Wechat, GoogleTalk, Hangouts and Viber all existing together in the eco-system.

    So they cant take a software idea to court. If they can get a court order to have the Minister show his source code and it comes out that it is theirs, then they have a case because you can copyright actual lines of code.

    But what I dont get is, how the system actually worked if its theirs. I do similar projects for clients and when they start acting shady, i shut them down. Always leave a backdoor into your system. Even if they didnt have one, they know the database structure, they can still take it down. And demand payment.

    1. Whatsapp was born out of idea copied from BB Mesenger, Blackberry was the pioneer of all chat messengers we have now, they did not patent the idea, which left others to copy. BB was never in arms with anybody for copying their idea.

      Viber and WeChat came in to fill the gap being left by Whatsapp, ie lack of video chat and generating income from advertising. Whatsapp guys never sued anybody!

      This jus shows how shallow Purple devine is! Like someone said, if their offices gets raided are they sure there is no pirated software there…

      1. BB Messenger idea was stolen from SMS. It’s all a chain, perhaps we call it inspiration. Purple Devine should have been smarter.

  5. Give Purple Devine a break guys, they are trying to make a quick buck, what they could not make from the software surely they can make from the lawsuit ….lol

  6. Hey stealing is stealing…why justify a wrong.where in the world are softwares shared freely.companies produce them for sale

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