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GCC goes digital to minimise face interaction due to Covid 19

Gweru City Council recently launched a smart phone application called G-city as the local authority makes frantic efforts to give service delivery as well as engagement with residents on digital platforms in the wake of increasing cases of Covid-19 in the Midlands capital, Gweru Gazette reports.

The mobile platform was established by Gweru Residents Forum (GRF) in conjunction with council.

GRF got funding from the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) to assist in the creation of the application.

GRF director Charles Mazorodze told Gweru Gazette that the new application was “handy” and allowed for numerous services from enquiring on bills and payments and reporting errant council employees.

“One can actually make a report on misconduct of council employees and make a follow up on that report since the application has a tracking system which tracks all faults or misconducts,”Mazorodze said.

“Residents can even book a venue, apply to be on the council housing waiting list using the application and check the status of that application online. In short the platform gives stakeholders easy and quick access to council services.

Council spokesperson Vimbai Chingwaramusee said the innovation was a milestone for the city as the municipality endeavours to minimise physical interaction between residents and council staff in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The G-City application enables residents to get real time information on service delivery,”Chingwaramusee said.

“Residents (also) have an option to enquire billing information, be whistle blowers, talk to their councillors and get daily updates as they report on faults.”

Chingwaramusee added:” For the City of Gweru this application helps us to go digital as we try to minimise face to face interaction due to Covid-19.”

Chingwaramusee also said residents will access notices of meetings, view statements, pay bills online and check on water and refuse collection schedules using the platform among other service delivery issues.

Residents welcomed the innovation but however expressed concern on the cost of data to download the application as well as using it.

“Honestly data is very expensive and beyond the reach of many and this will heavily impact on the use of the otherwise noble mobile application,”an Ascot suburb mechanic, James Chiseko said.

Another resident Constance Mariko said some residents were not information and communication technologies savvy and would likely shun the new innovation.

“Not everyone is techno savvy and we are likely to see the old school continuing to flock to council revenue halls,”she said.

Three weeks ago, the Midlands capital was declared a Covid-19 19 hotspot following a spike in coronavirus cases.

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