Terrorism, vandalism cost Kenya telecoms Ksh.284 million


Terrorism, vandalism cost Kenya telecoms Ksh.284 million

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has termed destruction of communications infrastructure in parts of the country as retrogressive as Kenya has lost eight base stations this year.

CA Director General, Dr. Francis Wangusi, told journalists in Nairobi on Tuesday that the destruction of communication infrastructure was hindering efforts to fill gaps in the information, communication and technology (ICT) sector that the Authority had identified.

Six base stations have been destroyed by terrorists in parts of Mandera, Garissa and Lamu while two stations were vandalised by hooligans in Kisumu and Kakamega. Each station, according to Wangusi costs approximately Sh.35.5 million bringing the total loss to a staggering Ksh.284 million.

Dr. Wangusi maintained that the acts of vandalism had a negative impact on the country’s economy. “Vandalism of telecommunication infrastructure by criminals and terrorists has negative ripple effects for ICT, as well as other critical services.”

The CA boss also dispelled what he termed a false and misleading belief that certain base stations belonged to particular telecommunications operators. “Most of the base stations accommodate a multiplicity of players through infrastructure sharing and co-location arrangements.”

Dr. Wangusi warned Kenyans that the passing of the Critical Infrastructure Bill, which is before the National Assembly, would impose stiff penalties on those bent on destroying communications infrastructure.

This comes two days after protesters vandalised a Safaricom booster soon in Kisumu after the Supreme Court decision that upheld the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta after the November 26 repeat poll.

It also comes months after suspected Al-Shabaab militants destroyed the giant telecommunication company’s mast in North Eastern prior to the August 8 General Election.

 

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