Potraz intensifies consumer awareness campaigns

HARARE - The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe has increased visibility in most rural areas, after canvassing the country's 10 provinces, teaching mobile network providers' consumers on their rights.

The telecommunications regulatory authority invaded the Midlands Province area last week, conducting educative road shows in various places.

Talent Munyaradzi, an official with Potraz said road shows are part of a programme started in 2016 to enable the regulator to engage service providers’ consumers in order to educate and understand them better and create rapport.

“The road shows started in 2016 and so far we have managed to cover all the provinces but we have some pockets that have been left in districts. This whole week we have been covering the Midlands Province,” he said.

Munyaradzi said in terms of Section 4 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act, users of mobile networks are entitled to know their rights.

“So we are trying to accomplish that provision,” he said.

Some of the consumer rights, according to the statutes, are, to do with right to choice, disclosure, access to high quality service, privacy, protection against market abuse, safety and education and awareness among others.

Munyaradzi said since 2016, the response has been overwhelming, as people have started raising sticking issues of concern with their mobile network providers.

“The reception is good, we have also seen an increase in the number of people that are seeking redress from service providers,” he said.

According to the regulator, some of the crucial issues that they identified through the road shows, include the need by mobile network providers of the need to educate users on issues to do with mobile insurance, among other issues.

“We were also educating the consumers on children’s rights on the internet on issues to do with cyber bullying, receiving threatening messages and blackmailing,” he said.

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