Minister of ICT Kazembe Kazembe blamed sanctions for making it impossible to modern the countries ICT infrastructure. Speaking to Herald, the minister said:
In order for us to catch up, we have to make sure that we do have the infrastructure in place.
To deploy that infrastructure, we need foreign currency. As long as we have these sanctions in place, there is no way we can earn the required foreign currency.
If Government does not have access to foreign currency, it cannot finance these projects because most of the equipment we deploy is imported. We import from companies like Huawei and ZTE, so we need foreign currency.
ICT infrastructure is resource hungry; it’s quite expensive and capital intensive and for our companies to be able to deploy ICT infrastructure.
They need assistance from international financiers and sanctions have blocked credit lines, which means our companies cannot borrow any money.
This means we always remain behind in terms of technology. We cannot embrace new infrastructure such as base stations for mobile connectivity or other ICT equipment. For us to be able to use the latest ICT applications, the latest smart solutions, we first have to have infrastructure in place. We have to ensure there is connectivity for everybody, and for us to have better connectivity, we have to deploy better infrastructure, which basically means we need foreign currency.
The story of the government blaming sanctions for the ills of the country has been told time and again. But the U.S and E.U deny the accusations leveled against by our government. Instead, the U.S and E.U attribute the country’s ills to gross corruption and mismanagement by Zimbabwe’s government.