By Bester Kayaye
Courier Operators in the country have expressed dismay over what they describe as influx of illegal operators saying it is negatively affecting their business operations.
MD for DHL International (Malawi) Victor Sitima bemoaned the situation during the handover ceremony of Ntcheu District Data Center, which has been rehabilitated by MACRA in partnership with postal and courier operators, as part of the 2022 World Post day Commemoration.
The event which was supposed to take place last year had been shifted to give enough time for the rehabilitation works of the computer lab to be finished
Sitima said there are numerous bottlenecks that players working in postal and courier services are encountering including influx of illegal courier operators that is distorting their field of play as well as delays in clearance of parcels at local airports and border posts.
He said: “This function was supposed to be done last year but due to other uncertainties it had to be pushed to this day, we came here having contributed several funds towards this data centre in collaboration with our mother body MACRA in a quest to improve data processes in Ntcheu District.”
“There are several challenges we are facing as courier operators in Malawi, but the pressing ones are influx of unlicensed courier operators as we have noticed a rising number of private individuals coming in to operate without proper documentation.”
“Also sometimes we face a lot of challenges to clear our parcels in border posts and airports as Malawi Revenue Authority takes time to have the courier bags checked so it is delaying our parcel clearing in the country.”
“So our plea is that relevant authorities including Malawi Police Service and MRA should render serious attention into these issues so that we can improve service delivery to our customers.”
In his remarks, Minister of Information and Digitalization Moses Kunkuyu expressed his commitment to work on deliberate policies aimed at supporting legal courier operators in a bid to strengthen and expand their operations to rural areas.
Kunkuyu said “It is a very important day as we tend to appreciate the significance of postal services around the world, you know there was a significant decline in the demand for postal services at some point when you talk of traditional mail but there has been an upsurge of the same services upon realizing that it is not all about the letter but other chains such as parcels and it is registering quite growth in Malawi hence it is important that we commemorate such services.”
“There is a need to stimulate the postal services further considering that currently courier operators are infested in urban areas only but there is a serious need to have these services even in typical rural areas.”
District Commissioner for Ntcheu George Ngaiyaye commended MACRA and partners for rehabilitating the Data Centre saying the facility is there as a data bank and training room for the sector heads, and that it will improve record keeping and knowledge in Information Communication and Technology (ICT).
Apart from the rehabilitation works, MACRA and courier operators also donated to the centre; 11 desktop computers, a binder, 20 cubicles and 11 chairs, among other items.