Breaking News - Zimbabweans To Apply For Passports At Post Offices

Government is working on measures that will allow citizens to obtain passports and other official documents at post offices across the country, it has been learnt.

The latest development is likely to bring relief to millions of people living in rural and marginalised areas, who are usually forced to travel to towns and cities to secure official documents such as identification cards.

Gift Machengete, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director-general, said the move will not only accelerate government's e-commerce project but will also ensure that post offices remain relevant to consumers' constantly changing needs.

"Potraz, in partnership with government's designated postal operator, Zimpost, is working on a model post office project, where post offices will be transformed to offer e-government and e-commerce services all under one roof.
Zimbabweans To Apply For Passports At Post Offices
"Instead of incurring transport costs to the Registrar General's office, under the project, communities will be able to apply for passports, birth and death certificates and other government services at postal outlets," he said.

This comes as fears are abound that the post office is dying a natural death following a significant decline is postal services.

Machengete noted that mail volumes are decreasing significantly annually in many countries, hence postal services should reinvent themselves and become multifaceted delivery and information companies tailored to the virtual age.

"As we move from the past into the future, posts will continue to play a significant role in our lives," he said during the World Post Day commemorations in Mudzi on Friday.

"But this depends on how much they will be able to transform themselves from the traditional mailing business to a more robust business model based on e-commerce leveraging on the wide geographical spread of the postal network," he said.
Zimpost's managing director Chief Moyo said the organisation has taken note of developments around technology disruptions and opportunities it presents. "Zimpost has over the years diversified its product portfolio from being predominantly traditional parcel and mail business by adapting to technology in order to meet the ever changing customer needs," he said.

Over the past few years, Zimpost has come up with a variety of innovative value added products and services to meet consumer needs such as financial services, Zimpost mall, Post insurance, Postlife funeral cash plan and communication information centres among other things.

"Zimpost is playing an important role in the economy by enabling financial inclusion of Zimbabweans from all walks of life," Moyo said.

The company has transformed its money transfer services from being telegraphic to electronic.

"This low cost money transfer service called Zipcash covers domestic and selected international destinations such as Bostwana, Lesotho, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa and Nigeria.

ICT deputy minister Jerifan Muswere, who was guest of honour at the event which was running under the theme "The post: delivering goods to the world", said government was committed to ensure universal access to communication channels.

Source - DailyNews

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