BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
ZIMBABWE’s information communication technology (ICT) sector has come under siege from thieves and vandals targeting its infrastructure, in the process affecting telecommunications connectivity.
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director-general Gift Machengete yesterday said the vandalism and theft of infrastructure had affected marginalised areas which already face network challenges.
Machengete made the remarks during the commissioning of a NetOne base station in Silonkwe area in Kezi, Matabeleland South province.
“The ICT sector has witnessed an increase in cases of theft and vandalism by criminals with solar panels, batteries, copper cables, generators being the main targets,” Machengete said.
“It would be most disappointing to see communities such as Silonkwe going back to the misery of unconnectdness — all at the instance of a few individuals who take advantage of the night to steal and vandalise that which was built for the greater good of the community.”
Silonkwe area had gone for decades without network connectivity owing to lack of base stations. The base station will provide coverage to five wards in the Matobo district.
NetOne acting chief executive officer Chipo Jaisson said the Silonkwe base station would provide cutting edge services to the once marginalised communities.