Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe today experienced internet service disruption and challenges with landline phone calls due to faults on the main links in South Africa and Harare.
The situation returned to normalcy after 5pm after the TelOne back-up link was restored.
The disruption was attributed to the Liquid Telecom cables that were cut by a tractor, 17 kilometers into South Africa from Beitbridge and a TelOne cable cut by city council employees working in Kuwadzana.
“Our back up link through Botswana has since been restored and together with the link through Mozambique we are operating at 50 percent capacity,” said TelOne.
“Our partners in South Africa and TelOne engineers here in Zimbabwe are on the ground working to restore full service on the said major link,” said TelOne.
TelOne director general, Dr Gift Machengete said the two service providers had back up.
“Liquid Telecom had two cables but the problem is that they were going in the same direction. We should talk to them about it so we do not have the active cable and redundancy cable going in the same direction because now the two have been cut.
“For TelOne, the one that links them with Telecom South Africa has also been cut in South Africa and they had one that links through Plumtree which was cut by a City Council employee in Kuwadzana. They still have one that goes through Nyamapanda to Mozambique and the capacity that is left is very little hence the problem we have,” he said.
Minister of Information, Communication Technology and Cyber Security, Supa Mandiwanzira dismissed allegations that Government had cut internet service and said the State did not have any interest in shutting down the service.
“We are upset that internet connectivity is not available or has not been available for most of the day.
“Government is concerned about the situation. We expect that the operators must have redundancy so that if one aspect or connection is down they can activate a different connection. It’s a requirement of their licensing that they must always have redundancy. How that redundancy has not kicked in for the nation to notice that there is no internet, we cannot understand why,” he said.