Blantyre — Huge sums of money are said to be going down the drain annually through vandalism of MTL cables, phone lines and other transmitting equipment, MTL Head of Marketing, Chimwemwe Khonje has bemoaned.
Khonje told the Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Monday that the company continued to spend a lot of money in repairing and replacing the vandalized equipment whose amount he claimed would have been diverted to other development activities.
"What MTL is experiencing is not only vandalism but also theft as copper cables are being stolen and sold in return for profits.
"As such, lots of money is diverted annually for repairing and replacing stolen MTL transmitting equipment including cables instead of using it in national development because each act of vandalism, theft or sabotage works against the country's development as it leads to regression of productivity in a variety of sectors.
"Besides, the impact of the cuts is grave in that not only is MTL losing revenue but there is a knock-on effect on the economy as a whole, bearing in mind that MTL services cater for all major amenities in the country such as hospitals, banks including other telecommunication operators," said Khonje.
To arrest the situation, according to Khonje, the company in conjunction with the law enforcers is undertaking anti vandalism exercise in areas that are prone to such a malpractice.
He then called on the general public to be vigilant by reporting any act of vandalism as one way of safeguarding the company's transmitting tools against the vice.
"The numbers of arrests are numerous. However, our goal is to see these cases reduced to zero by having all Malawians take ownership of MTL property which is held in trust of this entire nation. People are asked to report or witness any case of theft or sabotage of MTL cables," appealed Khonje.