By Anna Chibamu
MAGWEGWE MP Anele Ndebele Tuesday expressed concern over the high cost of internet data in the country and requested Information Communication Technology (ICT) Minister Janfan Muswere to intervene in order to allow every citizen access to the modern communication resource.
The MDC lawmaker was basing on a survey which showed Zimbabwe had the most expensive data in the world.
“At the tail end of the previous session on the 26th of September, 2019, I requested that the Minister of ICT gives us a statement on question of expensive internet data bundles in this country.
“This particular one is easy to motivate because the United Nations says access to the internet is a basic human right.
“Data bundles in this country are just too expensive.
“I have been reading a survey that underlines that Zimbabwe is the most expensive country in terms of data costs in the whole world.
“You will agree with me that if the internet is the cornerstone to the prosperity of trade, industry, finance and investment, then data is our new oil.”
Ndebele added, “I am inviting the Minister of ICT to give us a ministerial statement on what he is doing to ensure that the poor have access to the internet.
“What is the Minister doing to facilitate effective competition because it has been proven that when you introduce several players in the provision of data, then prices will go down; thereby winning the best for clients,” Ndebele said.
The MP also expressed doubt government was ever making any meaningful revenue from local mobile communication service providers.
“…Are we getting legitimate revenue from these internet service providers since data is so expensive? Are we able to track them down to pay required revenues to the Government?” Ndebele said.
Zimbabweans spend their savings on food, rent and utility bills.
Data is often seen as a luxury by the poor majority.