Student creates constituency website

MIDLANDS State University (MSU) student Tanaka Mhizha has created a website for Harare’s Warren Park constituency to bridge the communication gap between residents and elected officials.

Many residents in various communities do not know where to complain about service delivery as their members of Parliament (MPs) and area councillors do not hold regular meetings in wards.

Most times they only get to know their elected officials after a disaster outbreak has occurred or when the campaigning season has opened for re-election into office.

Mhizha who is studying towards an Information Technology honours degree said the website would assist the constituents to air their views and complaints to their councillor and MP.

A visit on the website shows that it has the various roles of the MP and councillor as well as the map of Warren Park constituency which covers areas such as Fountainbleau, Cold Comfort, Crowbrough, Warren Park 1,2,3,4,5,6 and D, Avondale, Belvedere, Milton park, Ridge View, Marimba and Westlea.

It also bosts of links where visitors can download the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Urban Councils Act.
“The whole idea is to create a direct portal between the residents and their MP and councillor so that they may be able to liaise and solve problems in their constituencies such as garbage collection, poor road network, water problems and crime in the area.

“There are also Facebook and Twitter accounts which are linked to the website and I did this to give the whole Constituency a web presence.  The website contains a forum and a complaints section, the profiles of both the MP and councillors and their roles in the constituency so that all the residents will know who they are talking to,” Mhizha said.

Mhizha also said that the site is SSL certified webserver and secured by passwords which are very difficult to decode and hack.

“I used a content management system to develop the website which has a database that is protected by passwords. The content to avoid profanities and is edited only through what is called the back end and has a salted hash algorithm which protects all passwords.

“The server will report if someone is trying to access the site without permission and I will then track where and who the person is,” he said.— Helen Kadirire

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