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Stop illegal connections

THE advances in technology are posing serious challenges to businesses as criminals are now using information communication technology (ICT) for illegalities.  This has serious economic implications.
Utility companies face a threat from criminals who are using ICT to access services without paying for them.  Businesses are thus losing millions of Kwacha.
Ordinary people with bank accounts who use automated teller machines are also at risk of being robbed if they are not careful as fraudsters use sophisticated methods to access people’s accounts illegally.
Most recent of these illegal activities is the report that the Zambia Police and Ministry of Information officials have smashed a racket in which some people were allegedly selling free-to-air decoders with manipulated software to illegally access DStv signals.
The police and officers from the ministry this week raided some houses and confiscated 40 decoders which were illegally connected to enable subscribers view DStv and other pay television content through the internet and via satellite.
This is a threat to Zambia’s economic growth because such illegal subscribers are evading paying tax, which is needed for Zambia’s development and provision of services.
It is also a threat to Government’s efforts to sustain jobs because Pay TV companies such as MultiChoice employ a lot of Zambians such as TV installers or subscription agents, some of whom could lose their jobs if illegal businesses were ignored.
Companies such as MultiChoice pay taxes to the Government but the payments would reduce if they don’t actually get the subscriptions.
When piracy thrives, artists, actors, musicians and film-makers also lose out as such acts infringe directly on their copyright, which deprives them of income.
Zambia is also grappling with illegal electricity connections, which pose a serious danger and has sometimes led to electrical faults that trigger fires.
Such illegal connections contribute to load shedding, which apart from being an inconvenience, have potential to disrupt industrial activity.
Utility companies that provide water services are also suffering from illegal water connections making them lose revenue and disruption in service delivery.