Letter to the Editor

Let us save our post offices

Dear editor,
IT IS an indisputable fact that traditional postage business is an almost obsolete venture worldwide because of changing technology.
The trend worldwide is to preserve the post offices by converting them into banks or financial institutions as they have a national footprint and are actually part of national heritage.
Our Zampost has not been spared by this world phenomenon besides other historical challenges like the bloated workforce inherited from the defunct Post and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) and past managements’ failure to convince Government to come to its aid to fund the retrenchment exercise. Collapse of ZAMPOST’s money transfer business (SWIFT) due to competition from other players like Zoona, Shoprite and mobile phones and the partial internal funding of this retrenchment exercise basically led to serious liquidity of the institution, thereby compromising the tenure of several agencies that the institution had clinched as a way of diversifying. Previous managements also lost the foresight to fight off competition and move the institution forward.
It is not too late – ZAMPOST can be saved by Government. For instance, why not make a pertinent decision to amend the Postal Act, restructure ZAMPOST, recapitalise and turn it into a bank working together with Bank of Zambia? Why not restructure, recapitalise and merge it with NATSAVE once again? Why not turn it into a new big micro finance and operate like Bayport (which is the most profitable financial institution in Zambia going by December 2018 quarterly reports)? This can be done with other partners like IDC, ZCCM-IH, NAPSA, Workers Compensation, Mukuba Pension, etc. ZAMPOST subsidiaries like Post Bus can be taken to IDC. ZAMPOST has the infrastructure nationwide and is our national heritage. Killing it won’t be the right thing to do. Please, let us find answers for it.
MARTIN CHONGO
Lusaka

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