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Zimbabwe in belated commemoration of World Post Day

Commemoration of World Post Day in Bulawayo

Zimbabwe celebrated World Post Day last week in Bulawayo at a colourful ceremony attended by senior government officials and players in the information communication technology (ICT sector).

Among the important dignitaries were the Minister of the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Dr. Jenfan Muswere and the Permanent Secretary, Dr Beaullah Chirume.

Also in attendance was the Director General of the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), Dr Gift Machengete and CEOs of Postal and Telecommunications Sector players

World Post Day is celebrated each year on October 9, the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which was founded in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern. However, due to prior commitments on the part of key stakeholders, this year’s celebrations have had to be postponed to 18 November 2022 in Luveve, Bulawayo.

“As the saying goes, ‘better late than never’. We are indeed grateful to you Honourable Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Honourable J Ncube for graciously hosting us. Honourable Minister, this day was set aside to celebrate the Post’s role in the everyday lives of people and businesses, as well as its contribution to global social and economic development.

“While the Covid-19 pandemic was a devastating disruptor, it was also a catalyst for innovative business ideas. The Postal and Courier sector had to quickly learn and embrace new skills in order to continue to serve humanity and facilitate communication among citizens of the world under the difficult health situation. This, ladies and gentlemen, demonstrated the enduring resilience of the Post, which has survived wars, droughts, natural disasters and pandemics, among others,” Minister Muswere said.

He said the Post must once again, demonstrate its resilience in the face of geo-political issues that have negatively impacted both the availability of materials and the logistical processes of shipping goods.

“I am, however, confident that the Post will rise to the challenge as always. In this regard, I am pleased to recall the great work and commitment demonstrated by all our Postal and Courier operators at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. I, therefore, call on all of you to craft strategies that are flexible enough to quickly adapt to unforeseen challenges and crisis situations.

“I want to encourage our operators to collaborate so that the sector, which is key to the socio-economic growth of our great country continues to evolve; thus, embracing new skills, new technologies and new ideas. Ladies and gentlemen, I am calling for all-inclusive ideas, that leave no-one and place behind. I am looking forward to engaging with each and every one of you as we take the Post to the next level.”

Digital transformation is one of the key contributing blocks of the National Development Strategy (NDS1), which was launched by His Excellency, the President, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa.

Accordingly, as sector players celebrated the day, the ICT Ministry launched seven CICs, including Luveve Community Information Centre, as ICT access points for the community.

This will allow our Citizens to access and use the many digital platforms to meet their different needs from farming, educational, banking and health information among many others.

Furthermore, to ensure universal access by all, Minister Muswere said the internet will continue to be free until 31 December 2022, which will encourage the adoption of digital services by all, leaving no one and no place behind.

The Minister urged the full use of, not only, the launched Community Information Centres, but also the Post Offices in which they are situated, as the two go hand-in-hand.

“As per tradition, today we will also recognize young winners of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) International Letter Writing competition at the National level, which has helped them to develop skills in composing and expressing their thoughts clearly and concisely. The competition has also helped to promote and strengthen bonds of international friendship, which is one of the missions of UPU. I, therefore, wish to congratulate all the winners from various schools around the country.

“In conclusion, I wish to assure you that my Ministry will continue to play a crucial role in this digital transformation agenda by providing accessible and affordable ICT platforms to local communities so as to achieve universal access to information, thereby impacting the aspirations of NDS1,” Minister Muswere added.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende