ICTAZ President Clement Sinyangwe has reminded members that their active participation is required if the Information and Communication Technology Association of Zambia is expected to rise to be a leading regulatory body.
“As ICT professionals we are service driven. We should be seen as solution providers and not people who create problems,” he said.
“This Town Hall meeting was called for by members and there was a lot of talk prior to last year’s elections because of some problems seen in the Constitution.
“We promised to be a member driven council and do not want to impose anything on members. This is the meeting that was supposed to decide on the Annual General Meeting in accordance with the law.”
During the ICTAZ Constitution Review Town Hall Meeting, Mr Sinyangwe expressed his regret that members had continued to show apathy to participating in activities.
The meeting which was held in Lusaka at the NIPA Convention Centre had about twenty members physically present and 40 members logged in online.
“Out of the potential 1,000 members called for the meeting, we have less than 100 here, which is not a good thing,” Mr Sinyangwe stated.
He added that there had been enough time given before the Town Hall Meeting for members to make arrangements to attend.
“Why is it that we are vocal on social media about how much more ICTAZ should be doing, but when it comes to important issues such as this one, people are quiet and others are not able to attend neither physically or virtually?”
“There is an Act in place that guides the functions of ICTAZ and as professionals we must be held to high standards.
“It is not right that we have heavy debates and criticize the leadership but we do not participate in these important membership activities,” he said.
The association president stressed the need for all ICTAZ members to take matters of the Association seriously if the IT profession was to gain the respect and recognition that was required.
“Very soon, Statutory Instruments (SIs) to operationalise ICTAZ will be issued and we must be ready to abide by the law – but how can we, if members are not interested in reading or contributing to the growing ICTAZ professional?”
Mr Sinyangwe gave examples of the Engineering Institute of Zambia and the Law Association of Zambia as examples of professional regulatory bodies that had members actively involved in enhancing their professional sector.
The Town Hall meeting was necessitated by observations made prior to the 13th Annual General Meeting of 2021 that had been.
As part of the consultative process, the Association invited submissions towards revising the Constitution but only four people responded to the call.
The meeting proceeded with the Vice President Zeko Mbumwae, National Secretary Bwalya Chisulo and Chair – Professional Development Binimbi Chellah moderating the submissions and debate of majority of submissions made.
Clauses on criteria for Honourary Member, Fellow Member, Full Membership, Associate and Licentiate were discussed.
Tenure of Office for the Executive Council and the committee as indicated in the ICTAZ Act of 2018 was also harmonised from two years to three years.
The establishment of a set date for an Annual General Meeting (AGM) was lengthily discussed with a general agreement that Covid-19 had shown that disruptions to scheduled events were a possibility and so the ICTAZ Constitution should provide for extenuating factors that would lead to the Executive Council proposing a date to the general membership. It was highlighted that a clause indicated the adoption of Audited Reports at the Annual General Meeting and hence the need to ensure all necessary documents were available and enough notice was given to members ahead of the AGM.
In light of the October 2021 Annual General Meeting, that was pushed back due to Covid-19, it was generally agreed that the next Annual General meeting be held in 2023 but that the membership would be engaged to participate in the upcoming International Expo scheduled for 22 – 23 September 2022 in Lusaka. It was also noted that for planning purposes, members would be availed with an annual calendar of ICTAZ events to ensure employers and organisations were able to budget for and release staff to attend an AGM.
Mr Sinyangwe thanked the members that participated in the Town Hall meeting as they contributed to vibrant debate and headway in ensuring the ICTAZ Constitution met the aspirations of the membership and was also aligned to the ICTAZ Act.
It has been agreed that the next ICTAZ Constitution Review Town Hall Meeting will be held virtually to avoid incurring a cost of hosting a physical meeting where few members attend.
The Town Hall meeting which was scheduled to close at 12:00hrs was adjourned just after 14:00hrs with the agreement that remaining submissions would be debated at the next Town Hall meeting and further discussions on the proposed revisions would be done. It is envisaged that with consensus on the revisions the revised ICTAZ Constitution will be adopted at a virtual Extra-Ordinary General Meeting.