Written by on February 19, 2024


19.02 24

Telone, Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped telecommunications giant, is reeling from a surge in cable vandalism, with losses exceeding half a million US dollars in materials and service disruptions.

Speaking to Skyz Metro FM’s Senior Reporter Sibonginkosi Maphosa on the sidelines of a media sensitization tour in Esigodini recently, Telone technical director, Mr Initial Mlambo said cable vandalism is rampant across the country. He further revealed the staggering cost of this criminal activity, with stolen cables valued at US$518,827 and a further US$480,950 lost in potential business as of December 2023.

Mlambo blamed “amakorokoza” or “ogweja,” as these miners are locally known, for their reckless digging, which he said frequently severs underground fiber optic cables, disrupting communication for entire communities.

“Whenever we have cable vandalism we need to replace the cables and that short changes our customers because they sometimes go for a week without the service and also the fact that we are losing out on profits as well”, said Mr Mlambo

He further highlighted that the financial strain is evident as replacing stolen cables is not only expensive but also throws a wrench into Telone’s service provision, requiring precious time and resources for repairs.

The company is exploring a long-term solution by decommissioning its copper-based infrastructure, a prime target for vandals, in favor of more robust alternatives

Telone, in a bid to raise awareness and garner support, recently hosted editors across Zimbabwe on a media tour, highlighting the scope of the problem and its consequences.

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