Telecom out to get unscrupulous cable vandals
Telecom Namibia Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Relations Oiva Angula came out guns blazing in the aftermath of a cable theft frenzy that has shaken the telecommunications giant to the core , severely impacting on its mandate to ensure the country can effectively communicate.
He said, “Telecom Namibia has noted with concern the growing incidents of cable theft from, and vandalism of, the network infrastructure all over the country, which cause interruptions in the provision of telecommunications services to the general public.”
He admitted that there were instances in which unintentional damage was done on the network, citing construction activities.
“Although, some of the damage done are found to be unintentional due to lack of knowledge about the existence of the underground cables during excavation and other civil works, most of it is caused by unscrupulous individuals for commercial gains or purely sabotage,” he said.
According to Angula, over 20 incidents have been recorded throughout the country with the vast majority occurring in Windhoek.
Said Angula, “Windhoek was most affected by these criminal activities. Except for a few cases where cables were cut and taken away, recent cases in Windhoek point to deliberate acts of vandalism directed at Telecom Namibia’s underground cables, which disrupted telephone and Internet services to hundreds of customers.”
In June alone, thieves looted over 90 kilogrammes of copper wire from the Telecom Namibia network in the Brakwater area on Windhoek/Okahandja main road in June this year while five telephone poles were first fell to remove the copper wire.
A 600 millimetre hand saw and a broken blade were found at the crime scene explained Angula.
“This clearly show that criminals are causing massive damage to the Telecom Namibia networks through copper theft and sheer vandalism, resulting in downtime for customers and costs the company millions,” he said.
Sounding a plea, Angula asked for active participation in resolving the matter and offered a N$20,000 for the apprehension of persons found to carry out these acts.
He said, “We call on all Namibians to exercise patriotism and become watchdogs to safeguard our national telecommunications backbone in their best interest of retaining reliable efficient communication. In this regard, the public is once again urged to report any suspicious activities or malpractices around the Telecom Namibia infrastructure to the nearest Police Station or the Telecom Namibia Hotline at 0800 301630 or 061 301630, anonymously.”