ECONET Wireless Zimbabwe subsidiary, Cassava, has launched its new ride-hailing service application called Vaya Lift in Bulawayo that offers convenient, affordable and safe transportation.
The safe, affordable, and convenient Uber-type passenger transportation service can be easily booked from anywhere at any time via the convenience of a mobile application.
Vaya Lift was launched less than a month ago in Harare and has been operating in Bulawayo for the past seven months before being finally launched last week.
The ride hailing service is under Cassava Smartech, an Econet Wireless subsidiary.
The Vaya concept was originally developed by an American company, Uber and works by using a mobile application available for free on the Google and Apple stores.
Speaking at the launch held in Bulawayo on Thursday evening, Econet Wireless senior official, Mr Archibald Moyo who was representing Cassava chief executive officer, Mr Eddie Chibi, said the new arm of Cassava was targeting to decrease unemployment rates in the country by registering members of the public who have cars to work as Vaya drivers and earn a decent living.
"Vaya Lift is here to decrease unemployment rates by offering convenient, safe and affordable transportation for members of the public. Vaya drivers can be anyone who has a car and registers with us to be a driver as long as they meet our requirements. One can work full time or when they are free earning over $1 000 per month," he said.
"The first 1 000 drivers to sign up with us will get free 10 litres fuel plus airtime, comprehensive insurance and $5 per day guaranteed bonus. Vaya drivers do not have to work 24/7 but one can work after hours according to their daily schedule, it is such a good deal for everyone."
Mr Moyo said to date more than 8 000 drivers had applied to become Vaya Lift drivers and the number continues to grow.
He said that Vaya Lift fares were fixed and payment can be done through EcoCash, debit cards and cash and the Vaya Lift pricing was 20 percent lower than traditional taxi fares, with average waiting minutes of just about five minutes.
He said that their ordinary package, which has small cars like the Honda Fit costs 85 cents per kilometre while their executive package, which has executive cars costs $2, 90 per kilometre.
Mr Moyo encouraged big companies to use Vaya Lift as their transport service provider, noting that they can save over 40 percent on transport.
"Vaya Lift also addresses the needs of businesses and organisations looking to improve business process efficiencies and manage logistical costs by offering employee shuttle at a very competitive cost saving over 40 percent on transport costs," he said.
Vaya Lift does not only provide ride-hailing services but also local and intra-city courier services.
In the fourth quarter of 2017, EcoCash was reported to have passed the milestone of processing $23 billion worth of mobile money transactions in Zimbabwe since its launch.
This milestone meant that the Econet owned mobile money service had over 90 percent market share as far as Zimbabwe's mobile money sector is concerned.
Given that Vaya Lift accepts EcoCash as a form of payment in a country that is running extremely low on physical cash, it is not difficult to see how the introduction of Vaya Lift gives Econet an upper hand over the likes of Uber and Taxify who might be considering later launching in Zimbabwe.