IT is so disheartening when one reads about issues of vandalism in this day and era when people should be more interested in the building of our country than bringing it down to its knees. Vandalism is criminal and anyone found wanting should be punished accordingly.
As the country continues to push for noticeable infrastructure transformation, it is retrogressive and frustrating for criminals to destroy structures that are meant to add value to the growth of this nation both economically and technologically.
Vandals have not spared most firms from losing millions of money invested in putting up structures that play important functions in meeting different tasks.
Companies like Zesco, Zambia Railways, local authorities, water utility companies, the mines and of course the list seems endless, have all suffered huge losses through replacing and repairing of vandalised assets.
We carry a story in today’s publication on page (5) about IHS Towers Zambia – a company dealing in installation of communication towers indicating that it is losing more than K1 million every month due to vandalism on its installations in Southern Province.
Looking at such a figure being lost because of thoughtlessness by people who are not just greedy but are pure criminals, one cannot help but imagine how much the nation is losing countrywide as a result of vandalism.
Last week, another communications company Infratel, also reported that it had recorded a loss of K1 million during the first quarter of this year due to vandalism.
What is heartbreaking is that some of these criminals do not understand the full cost and importance of the property they are vandalising because if they did, they would maybe exercise some form of patriotism by refraining from such acts of sabotage.
As the law clearly states, ignorance is no defence. Culprits once caught should face the full wrath of the law so as to deter would-be offenders.
The police service should do more to curb this scourge because what is shocking is that even places like police stations themselves have not been spared.
Last year, former deputy Inspector General of Police Eugene Sibote, expressed shock that a modern police station under construction was vandalised in Chavuma District of North-Western Province.
If these criminals would go to such extents, it only means that they have not yet felt the full punishment of the law that would deter them from carrying out such irresponsible acts.
Those benefiting from stolen property should also be taken to book as they sustain the scourge of criminal activities through vandalism.
And as a tip, police should take keen interest in businesses such as scrap metal dealers and small-scale smelters just to check on suspected property looted through vandalism.