BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) says it is working on a legal framework to license local and cross-border service providers in a bid to formalise their operations.
Potraz director-general Gift Machengete said this while officially opening the Maranda containerised information centre in Mwenezi, Masvingo province, yesterday.
He said they decided to license courier operators after realising that the public was losing valuables through unregistered omalayitsha, who could not be held accountable in case the goods got lost along the way.
“I am happy to announce that the authority is making moves to deliver e-commerce products that are safer and more convenient through the introduction of regional, intercity and intra-city courier licences. Illegal courier service providers known as omalayitsha would be formalised,” Machengete said.
“The authority has started a consultation process leading to the promulgation of a new licensing framework aimed at regularising the many illegal courier operators doing business between cities and towns and between Zimbabwe and regional countries like South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania and Mozambique,” he said.
The Potraz boss said formalising courier services would result in improved services and enhanced consumer protection.
Speaking at the same event, Information and Communication Technology minister Jenfan Muswere said community information centres bridged the digital divide between urban and rural areas.
He warned citizens against abuse of ICTs.
“We should never underestimate the scale of the cyber threat. As we make use of ICTs, we create enormous pools of data about ourselves,” he said.
“I wish to reiterate the importance of a safe and secure online environment. Safer use of the internet however, requires digital literacy skills, which would develop digital competencies such as managing online identities and privacy.”
Potraz has provided internet connectivity to 107 schools in Masvingo under the schools connectivity programme, with 80 more schools set to benefit. The organisation has also distributed 670 laptops to 58 schools in the province under the e-learning project.