Year after year the ICT Achievers Awards have been reduced to a comedy spectacle that seems to grow in magnitude each year. There are always big questions on the awards credibility and the organisers seem to quickly forget the gaffes just from a year ago.
In 2012, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) received the “Top Public Sector website of the year” award although their website, www.zimbabwetourism.net was down. This year again, the ICT Achievers Awards discredited themselves by awarding yet another ghost website an award.
Courier Connect received the Best ICT Enabled Courier Company of the year side passing the likes of Swift, DHL and FedEx. To submit nominations for this category, you had to answer questions like “how does the company reach out to the public?” and “which online services do they offer to increase the efficiency of their business and at what cost?”
This would suggest the recipient of the award would have to display some degree of efficiency in online service delivery and engagement with customers. To our surprise however Courier Connect’s website is down, and not only that, if the Wayback Machine is anything to go by, the website hasn’t seen much uptime this year. The website was only crawled successfully once this year, and even then, the machine bumped into a nasty error. The website has clearly been down for a while. Google Search doesn’t even list it anymore.
That’s not all, in answering the question ‘how does the company reach to the public’, it’s quite clear that Courier Connect’s online efforts are quite poor as they only have 93 likes on Facebook Page and their last update was on 23 October 2013!
A typical response from the organisers will be “the vetting process starts 6 months before the actual awards”. But in any case, it is in doubt if Courier Connect has any credentials to bag the award at the expense of Swift which has over 2,400 Facebook likes, posts regularly, has a live functional website, uses tools such as Skype to communicate with customers instantly, and on the whole, appears to be run better than Courier Connect.
The questions that comes to mind amid other revelations of questionable awards is why does the Ministry of ICT and Courier Service waste money hosting awards that lack credibility. I say this because other companies like CSI and Econet fully deserve the recognition they received but all this is clouded by the less credible awards given to such recipients as Courier Connect and Sadomba-Mahari.