Mandiwanzira threatens to withdraw internet licences

By Langton Ncube| Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security minister Supa Mandiwanzira has threatened to withdraw licences of internet providing companies which caused the Tuesday internet blackout.

Supa Mandiwanzira

Mandiwanzira said the internet black out which occured on Tuesday had cost the country millions of dollars in lost revenue.

The minister threatened to revoke the licences of the telecommunications which supply internet if they were to be found on the wrong side.

“I had a meeting with the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director-general (Gift Machengete) to discuss the situation,” Mandiwanzira told NewsDay.

“We have agreed that Potraz will look into it and see what really happened. They are now going to make sure that service delivery is at the top all the time and find out what really happened and why did the redundancy services not come into play,”he said.

The country suffered an internet blackout from approximately, 11:30 hours to 17: 15 hours after a fibre outage occurred on Liquid Telecoms Zimbabwe’s main fibre line close to Beitbridge Border Post. Liquid’s main fibre line was reportedly cut by a tractor on the South African side.

Mandiwanzira said he was told that a tractor accidentally cut one of Liquid Telecoms’ main fibre lines in South Africa while Harare City Council workers accidentally cut one of Telone’s main fibre lines in Kuwadzana.

“This should not happen, there should be redundancy plans in place and I wonder why these did not kick in. If we find that these companies were not truthful with us, we will revoke their licences,”he said.

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