Potraz reads riot act to service providers From left: ICT permanent secretary Dr Beulah Chirume, ICT Deputy Minister Dingumuzi Phuti, ICT Minister Dr Tatenda Mavetera and Potraz director general Dr Gift Machengete follow proceedings at the Potraz stakeholder engagement indaba being held in Harare

Mthabisi Tshuma in Harare

POSTAL and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has read the riot act to telecommunication service providers for failing to adequately inform their clients of the challenges they face in offering service.

The regulatory authority last Thursday hosted a stakeholders’ engagement indaba which ran under the theme “Enhancing Price Transparency and Quality of Service for Telecommunication services in Zimbabwe.”

Minister of Information Communication, Postal and Courier Services Dr Tatenda Mavetera accompanied by his deputy Dingumuzi Phuti and ICT permanent secretary Dr Beulah Chirume attended the event among other stakeholders.

A number of presentations were delivered during the engagements and these include input by Telecommunications Operators Association of Zimbabwe (TOAZ) representatives, Econet deputy chief executive officer Professor Roy Chimanikire who focused on the topic, “Cost of providing telecommunication services in Zimbabwe: Key considerations, challenges and way forward.”

Internet Access Providers (IAPs) representative chief executive officer for Dandemutande Mr Never Ncube presented on the topic, “Internet Access Provision in Zimbabwe: Challenges and Opportunities.”

ZERA representative focused on the topic, “Enhancing electricity availability for the telecommunication sector: Challenges, Initiatives and proposals” while Potraz director Economics, Tariffs and Competition Mrs Hilda Mutseyekwa presented on “Tariff trends and quality of service for telecommunication services- key considerations and challenges”.

Addressing delegates at the workshop, Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete implored the service providers to be open to their clients.

“The blatant disregard for Consumer Complaints is deeply troubling. Consumers have the right to expect reliable and responsive customer service when issues arise. Yet, all too often, their concerns are met with indifference or brushed aside. This not only reflects poorly on the operators themselves but also erodes confidence in the entire telecommunications industry.

“It is time for Operators to be held accountable for their shortcomings. We cannot afford to tolerate substandard service any longer. As the regulator, it is our duty to advocate for the rights of consumers and ensure that their voices are heard. We must demand greater transparency, responsiveness, and accountability from operators. This is the very reason that the operators themselves are in attendance and ready to engage – so that they face these concerns head-on and explain the channels they will take to ensure overall improvement in customer experience,” said Dr Machengete.

He said in addressing these concerns and all the challenges in the telecommunications sector, he firmly believes in the power of collaboration.

“No single entity or stakeholder can tackle these issues alone. It requires a concerted effort, a shared vision, and a willingness to engage in open and constructive dialogue.

“The workshop is also meant to set the record straight in terms of certain misconceptions, half-truths and falsehoods that have been peddled about the sector as we focus on getting onto the same page towards the progressive goal of developing the sector and indeed the Nation. Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo as His Excellency the President always puts it. Vene vacho tisu. We can only build the country if we are on the same page and moving in the same direction,” said Dr Machengete.


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