Government is planning to license unregistered courier services operators known as Malaicha who deliver goods and services for Zimbabweans in and outside the country especially South Africa, a Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) official recently said.
This delivery business is thriving on Zimbabweans in South Africa who want to have their groceries or other items delivered to their relatives back home.
Asked if Potraz had plans to regulate the Malaichas, Director of Postal and Courier Services Kennedy Dewera told delegates in Masvingo they are working on a licensing framework that covers them.
“The Malaichas is something that we have been working on. If you notice in my presentation I mentioned something about the new framework that we want to bring in…This is where we want to capture them.
“So what we have done is we are coming up with a new licensing framework which will be able to capture anybody who will be providing such services. So it’s something that we are looking at and after providing that framework, we have our legal gurus look at it…in fact the framework will cater for everything in terms of legislation once you require a licence the licence fees are there,” he said.
Following the import ban, Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa have been using these informal malaicha delivery services to get around the ban on imports of some goods and services.
Some Zimbabweans say the service is expensive yet convenient but Malaicha couriers defend the costs saying they are reasonable because they have to cover bribes to police and immigration officials.