TelOne has voiced concern over increased network vandalism and copper cable thefts countrywide.
This was revealed during the Mutasa North Constituency road map strategy stakeholders meeting in Honde Valley recently.
TelOne Manicaland area manager Mr John Chipurura said there was an increase in thefts and vandalism of the firm’s infrastructure, mostly in Sakubva and Dangamvura.
In an interview with The Herald, Mr Chipurura attributed the rise in copper cable thefts to the high value of copper, which the market is offering.
He said Mutasa North Constituency Member of Parliament Cde Chido Madiwa would this week receive TelOne internet connection in her office to ease communication problems.
In a statement, corporate communications and client experience head Ms Melody Harry said TelOne had been a victim of vandalism.
She said security alarms had been installed on the copper infrastructure in order to trigger alarms.
“I can confirm that TelOne has been a victim of increased network vandalism and copper cable thefts,” said Ms Harry. Since January, at least 33 cases have been recorded affecting hundreds of clients.
However, in response, TelOne has stepped up its efforts to curb these thefts and network vandalism by installing security alarms on the copper cable infrastructure, which silently trigger the alarm in the event that someone tampers with the copper cables.
This has resulted in arrests, with at least 60 criminals having been arrested.
Ms Harry said TelOne had also partnered with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to step up patrols at the country’s borders to control smuggling of copper stolen from the TelOne network.
She sympathised with clients who lost their TelOne copper cables stating that these acts of vandalism had affected TelOne and its clients in a negative way in terms of service delivery.
“The biggest loss from vandalism is the impact on the TelOne reputation and the experiences of our clients as this may mean prolonged periods of disservice for the clients,” she said.
“Through such downtime, our clients also tend to lose business as both voice and broadband are affected.”
On top of that, TelOne has increased physical security patrols in high risk areas.
The company is also conducting massive anti-vandalism campaigns during which they are engaging communities, educating them on the ills of the thefts scourge and the consequences coming either directly or indirectly.
“Through the campaigns, we appeal to the public to report any suspicious activities relating to telecommunications equipment thefts or trade while offering exciting rewards for valuable information that leads to arrests of any such thieves,” said Ms Harry.