THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has said currency distortions affected its operations in the just-ended financial year.
Potraz director-general Gift Machengete revealed this during a strategic planning workshop held in Mutare yesterday.
“The year was, however, not without its fair share of challenges. One of the major challenges faced during the year is that of currency instability. At one time the exchange rate skyrocketed within a short period following a rapid weakening of the local currency,” Machengete said.
“True to the assertion that nothing is certain, the exchange rate dramatically dropped at one time following the strengthening of the local currency, which was a new phenomenon in the Zimbabwean market.”
He said while Potraz managed to adjust accordingly to these fluctuations, its desired state was that of a stable currency which ensures there is proper planning.
Machengete said the hiccups should be a wake-up call to expect the worst in their planning.
He said suppliers also took advantage of the exchange rate distortions to overprice their products.
“This is pure criminal and as an authority we shall not tolerate such dubious practices,” Machengete said.
He also commended Potraz’s efforts in improving regulatory efficiency and promoting evidence-based interventions.
“We funded the relocation of nine collocated towers around the country to ensure unsaved and underserved rural areas receive connectivity and participate fully in the digital economy,
“We also continued with our flagship Community Information Centre (CIC) programme, which saw the construction of an additional 32 CICs, bringing the total number of CICs in the country to 202.”
Machengete said Potraz had also rolled out a massive “Computer Lab Per School programme”, which saw the distribution of 7 860 computers to 315 schools and universities.
“This is a huge achievement towards our national quest for universal access and use of ICTs,” he said.
In the regulatory arena, Machengete said Potraz had implemented the Postal Automated Quality of Service Monitoring System at 35 ZimPost post offices and acquired the Online Data Collection System, to enhance accuracy and efficiency in compiling quarterly sector performance reports.