CHIBOMBO district commissioner Colonnel Philip Chabakale has said there is need for the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) to embrace an all-inclusive agenda regarding access to make Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) as tools for economic development.

Officiating at a public forum organised by ZICTA in Chibombo on Saturday, Col Chabakale said his district had a large population of physically challenged citizens.

"These have been incapacitated by leprosy. The current ICT tools and equipment on the Zambian market do not cater for the special needs of these citizens and yet we all know that there are assistive technologies that can enable a person without hands or fingers to use a cell phone and access the Internet," Col Chabakale said.

He implored ZICTA to consider the plight of the disabled.

"The authority has additional mandates of regulating postal and courier services and electronic transactions and it is incumbent upon ZICTA to maximise the usage of the provisions of these laws and the environment they have created to regulate efficiently and effectively," he said. "We want to see a reversal of the abuse that most consumers have suffered in terms of poor quality of service, service disruption, high tariffs, dropped calls, and the cancer of cell phone thefts."

Col Chabakale said for a long time consumers have had no recourse for their complaints and yet ZICTA was there to protect them.

He bemoaned the cost of making international calls which he said was too high.

"It is too expensive to make international calls, most of us just wait for people outside the country to ring us," Col Chabakale said.

And ZICTA director of public relations and consumer affairs said there was need to encourage the use of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) on information technology to ensure that children and youths had access to the Internet.