By Auxilia Katongomara and Patrick Chitumba
Police have finally embraced plastic money transactions by introducing Point of Sale machines at selected police stations countrywide for payment of fines for traffic and other offences while the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) has also resolved to have the machines at tollgates across the country.
The move comes following calls by the public for the police and tollgates to have Point of Sale machines in the wake of cash shortages.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the installation of Point of Sale machines at selected police stations countrywide was a pilot project to help motorists.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police, in line with embracing plastic money and in response to calls by the public, has launched a pilot project by introducing Point of Sale machines (swipe machines) at some Traffic and Duty uniform branch stations around the country,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
The POS machines have been introduced at 37 police stations countrywide among them three stations in Bulawayo: Bulawayo Central, Nkulumane police station as well as Bulawayo West Traffic Police Station.
“Members of the public who are admitting to the offences are free to use this facility for their convenience. More swipe machines will be introduced with time,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
Meanwhile, motorists can now swipe to pay tollgate fees at Point of Sale (POS) machines at tollgates across the country.
In an interview on the sidelines of the road authorities meeting in Gweru yesterday, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Dr Joram Gumbo, said Zinara had resolved to have the machines at tollgates across the country.
He said as of yesterday, there were only four tollgates with POS machines.
“The POS machines are not readily available from the banks that are supposed to provide those machines. At the moment we have POS machines at Skyline after Harare, one here in Gweru, one in Bulawayo and another one as you go to Bindura. So we now have four tollgates where we have the machines,” Dr Gumbo said.
“The applications are there but the providers are failing to provide. It’s a must that motorists swipe as it is an international trend but the problem is not with Zinara but with the banks that supply the machines.”
Zimbabwe has 26 tollgates on its roads.
The country has been facing cash shortages, a development that has seen some financial institutions limiting withdrawals.
At the beginning of the cash crisis, the Government directed all public institutions, including parastatals and local authorities, to install electronic Point of Sale Terminals. The Chronicle