The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has declared war on vandals and is advocating for stiffer penalties on perpetrators.
By Staff Reporter
Speaking in Rutenga, Masvingo during one of their consumer awareness campaigns, Potraz consumer affairs manager Phibion Chaibva said the authority will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to curb acts of vandalism on network infrastructure.
“We want to warn those perpetrators to desist from such acts. We all need to take action and ensure that we protect the equipment. There is a growing trend which has resulted in all operators experiencing a number of theft and vandalism cases at their base stations which has resulted in disruption of the network,” Chaibva said.
“People are stealing fuel, batteries and solar panels and when the network is disrupted, it is the consumers who are affected and cannot transact. You know these thieves because they leave within the community. Let’s report them to the police because they are dragging our country backwards. Take ownership and responsibility.”
He said the authority was advocating for stiffer penalties for base station vandals.
“We are working on various security mechanisms which we will not say in public, but desist from such habits such as tampering with telecommunications infrastructure. It is a serious offence which attracts a mandatory jail term.”
Potraz is holding roadshows to educate consumers on their rights and obligations, as well as on the economic and social impacts of vandalism of ICT equipment.
This week, the regulator is covering Chiredzi, Triangle, Rutenga, Neshuro, Ngundu, Renco, Muchakata, Mapanzure, Sese and Mushandike with a mega roadshow expected to be held at Nemamwa Growth Point on Saturday in collaboration with Radio Zimbabwe.
The road shows are being held under the theme Postal and Telecommunications Consumers — Know Your Rights.