Arrests over telco power thefts
TELECOMS| April 9, 2012, 11:03 a.m.
By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia
Police in Zambia have arrested three people in connection with theft of generator starter batteries, hybrid batteries and fuel from Airtel’s telecom towers.
The theft which occurred about two weeks ago, led to the disruption and degradation of the company’s network in various parts of the country. In the capital Lusaka alone about 19 different cases of thefts of either fuel or batteries from the towers were recorded late last month.
The total loss incurred by the company through the thefts amounts to USD60, 000 in just one month, according to Fayaz King, Airtel managing director.
Other affected areas of thefts across the country include Northern, Central and Eastern Provinces. The power supply (UPS) batteries are used during power outages to run network towers.
Some of the stolen batteries from different Airtel towers around Lusaka were recovered last week by police after the company reported the matter to the police.
Airtel's customer service director, Joseph Kafwariman, said at Chawama Police Station where the batteries were displayed that there had been rampant thefts of the UPS batteries at tower sites around the country.
Kafwariman said the thefts “were frustrating efforts of the company to deliver quality service through environmentally friendly energy.”
The batteries, Kafwariman said helps provide energy for a good three hours in the event that power from the national grid is interrupted.
Kafwariman urged the general public to help curb vandalism of company’s property in order for the company to provide quality services. He commended the swift action by the police in apprehending the culprits.
Police spokesperson, Elizabath Kanjela said the three suspects who were arrested on March 29 were believed to have been contracted by a Lusaka firm to install the said batteries.
However, other batteries that have been stolen around the country have not yet been recovered and the thieves are still at large.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
Vodafone Ghana provides ‘live-chat’ platform for customersVodafone Ghana says it has launched an online ‘Live Chat’ and ‘Support Centre’ to enhance its range of customer care channels that offer timely and convenient response to customers’ queries. Read More
Juwah’s tenure at NCC endsDr. Eugene Juwah’s tenure as the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communication Commission has come to an end. Read More
Etisalat sues MTN over anti-competitive practicesEtisalat has instituted legal action against Nigeria’s dominant operator, MTN, over practices it says threaten its business. Read More
Orange increases interest in the Moroccan operator Méditel with the acquisition of an additional 9%Fipar-Holding (the Moroccan Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion group), FinanceCom and Orange signed the final documentation increasing Orange's interest in Méditel, the Moroccan telecommunications operator, in application of the agreements they signed in December 2010. Read More
Safaricom gives network assurance ahead of Obama visitSafaricom has assured its subscribers that minimal network disruptions shall be experienced during visit of US president Barack Obama. Read More
Airtel unveils next gen enterprise solution in GhanaAirtel Ghana says it is setting the new standard for Enterprise business solutions with the launch of its business oriented sub brand, Airtel Business. Read More
Tigo Africa Customer Operations Director visits GhanaThe Customer Operations Director for Tigo Africa, Ingeborg Nieuwenhuis, has just concluded a week-long visit to Ghana. Read More
Tigo reinforces security at cell sites due to battery theftTigo says it is determined to invest to ensure a reliable and stable network for its customers despite rampant cable cuts and increasing battery theft. Read More
MTN Ghana introduces Relationship ManagersSubscribers of MTN Ghana can now get any challenges resolved quickly and amicably, thanks to the introduction of Relationship Managers at MTN Ghana’s 82 customer service points across the country. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customers
As confidence in mainstream banks remains low due to prohibitive interest rates, customers are embracing Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) as an alternative.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.