Ndola has had no telephone services for close to two weeks now and ZAMTEL technicians have not yet found the source of the problem. The Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has condemned the prolonged interruption of telephone lines in Ndola and has urged ZAMTEL to urgently find a solution to the problem.But ZAMTEL acting managing director Wood Simbeye said the company had made some progress in rectifying the problem.

ZACA executive secretary Muyunda Ililonga said in an interview last week that the association was concerned that the interruption of telephone services had taken too long. Ililonga said the interruption had caused extensive disruption to commerce and consumers’ lives.

“Consumers who duly pay their bills want to use the facility. It is surprising that despite the essential nature of the phone service to business and domestic life, ZAMTEL haven’t attached the importance it deserves,” he said. Ililonga said the interruption had also disrupted Internet services in Ndola.

“We are aware that some companies in Ndola have been going to Luanshya (about 40 kilometres away) to receive their e-mail,” he said.

He urged ZAMTEL to urgently resolve the matter. And Simbeye said ZAMTEL had managed to resuscitate the Operation and Maintenance Console (OMC), which enables technicians to carry out diagnostics.He said it had been difficult for technicians to work on the problem without the aid of the OMC.

“Now that the OMC is on, we should be making some progress,” he said.

Simbeye said the disruption to business and general life as a result of the interruption was to be expected and that the company did not take pleasure in that.He said the interruption also meant loss of revenue to ZAMTEL.

Simbeye, however, said it was too early to quantify the loss in revenue.

He would not say when the problem would be rectified.

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