Zambia’s police alongside officials of the Bureau of Standard and Cycorp Zambia Limited have cracked a whip on fake mobile phones arresting over 2600 suspected counterfeit Samsung handsets in Lusaka and Copperbelt area.
This comes less than one year when the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority, warned it would switch off fake cellphones in the country.
Director general of Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) Margaret Mudenda said the organisation is in the process of fighting cheap and mobile phones that do not meet the required standards.
Mudenda cautioned traders who are engaging in selling such gadgets to stop as the country would not continue being a dumping site for shoddy Information communication and technology (ICT) equipment.
In Kenya, the industry regulator Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) issued a notice on June 28, 2012 that it would switch off non-genuine handsets on September 30 this year.
There is currently a public awareness campaign branded as ‘Pata Ukweli wa Mtambo’ (Get the truth about the gadget) targeted at informing mobile phone users on risks of using fake gadgets and the steps they should take to determine whether the handsets used are genuine.
As reported earlier by HumanIPO, Kenya’s leading mobile service provider Safaricom would lose up to 5 percent of its revenue if the operation is cracked.
The company’s business manager Peter Arina said that over 900,000 Safaricom’s subscribers don’t use genuine handsets. The firm will however stick with the law by switching phones off from using its network as soon as the government blows the whistle.
The organisation is also carrying out campaigns to encourage its customers to use genuine phones. CCK statistics shows that almost 3 million cellphones in the country are fake, which is close to 10 percent of the active devices in use.
Reports indicate that fake phones are popular in Africa as they are affordable with more appealing features such as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy at a cost of as low as US$60 and US$120 respectively.
It further reveals that Asia manufactures about 14 percent active phones that are counterfeits.
Zambian law Act Cap 405 Section 6(1) (a) bars individuals from being in possession properties that have breached the copyright and performance amendments acts properties.
The fake mobile phones cost approximately KSh8.2 billion (US$ 569,384.70).