Paper-Based Records an Obstacle to Service Delivery during Covid-19 Lockdown: A Case of the National Archives of Zimbabwe, Chinhoyi Records Centre

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue IX, September 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

 Paper-Based Records an Obstacle to Service Delivery during Covid-19 Lockdown: A Case of the National Archives of Zimbabwe, Chinhoyi Records Centre

Alex Sibanda1, Munyika Sibanda2, Edward Mupfururi3
1Zimbabwe Open University, Lecturer Department of Information Science and Records Management, Chinhoyi Public Service Training Centre, P.O Box 285 Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe..
2National Archives of Zimbabwe, Chinhoyi Records Centre: Archivist, Block 4 Old Chinese Complex, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.
3Zimbabwe Open University, Administrative Assistant, Zvishavane District Midlands Regional Campus P.O Box 1810 Gweru, Zimbabwe.

Abstract: This study examined the repercussion and lessons learnt on failure to automate records at the National Archives of Zimbabwe, Chinhoyi Records centre. The study used a mixed methodology with the intention of triangulating the results. Data were collected from the National Archives of Zimbabwe, Chinhoyi Records centre staff, government departments and other users through interviews, questionnaires, and document analysis. The study sample included six (6) employees from the National Archives of Zimbabwe and four (4) Record Management Supervisors from the government departments who were operating during the lockdown. The purposive sampling technique was employed. The study findings revealed access to records and archives was affected especially at the National Archives of Zimbabwe (NAZ) where the use of electronic technologies is still at its infant stage and automation of records and archives is moving at a snail pace. According to the Constitution of Zimbabwe (2013) under national objectives government units must adopt and implement procedures to develop efficiency and competence. However, this was not the case with the NAZ Chinhoyi Records Centre during Covid-19 lockdown from 29 March 2019 to July 2021. The study findings revealed that Government departments, local authorities and parastatals that were operating during the Covid 19 lockdown failed to access their records on time as the archival institution was temporarily closed in a bid to control the spreading of coronavirus. The study recommends that NAZ need to adopt an Electronic Records Management Systems (ERMS). In addition, the NAZ must also develop a cloud storage for its records as well as making sure that records and archives can be accessed virtually by government departments and other users who deposits their materials at the Centre.

Key words: Automation, Covid 19, Lockdown, Electronic Records Management Systems Records Centre, Good Governance, Service Delivery.