Zimbabwe ‘s biggest landline operator and internet provider , TelOne says it has recently recorded a loss of US$292, 620 in the half year to June, 30 2022 through network vandalism.
This came at a time when the government owned company lost US$1,5 million for the period ended 31 December 2021.
In a statement TelOne says , “First six months of the year 2022, TelOne recorded a total of 196 incidents of live network vandalism representing an increase of 18% when compared to a similar period in 2021 with a total of of 29 000 customers affected by vandalism-induced downtime, a 74% surge customers affected in prior comparable period,”
“The Company was prejudiced of US$292, 620 in terms of potential revenue loss in the half year to June, 30 2022. This represents a 64% surge on prior comparable period,”
According to TelOne in terms of equipment lost, TelOne lost network valued at US$362,460, representing a 15% increase when compared to first half 2021.
TelOne said the company has managed to arrest a total of 28 vandals compared to 23 arrests that were made in the first six months of 2021. Out of these arrests, 8 of the suspects were sentenced to the mandatory 10-year jail term by the courts.
“We expect the conviction rate to rise once the Copper Amendment Bill – which seeks a minimum of 30 years’ imprisonment for convicted copper thieves, among other requirements – gets presidential ascent in the second half of 2022. This legislative piece sailed through the National Assembly last month,”
In a bid to curb network vandalism TelOne expends substantial amounts on the engagement of commercial security guards for the protection of critical network assets and for the purposes of rapid response services in respect of alarmed network cables.
TelOne is part of an Anti-Vandalism Task Force comprising of the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), ZESA Holdings and the National Railways of Zimbabwe to coordinate efforts in fighting vandalism of state and essential services infrastructure.