A framework to address the problem of mobile phone theft: a case study of the telecommunications sector in Zambia

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Akombwa, Benaiah Simui
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University of Zambia
As in most nations in Africa, the problem of mobile or cell phone theft is something that local authorities in Zambia are desirous to address. With advances in technology, phones have gotten smaller and of high value. Motivated by this rising challenge, this study purposed to propose an appropriate framework that would help reduce phone thefts. A cross-sectional survey was carried out in which 420 structured questionnaires were distributed among Lusaka residents in four different districts using a multi-stage cluster sampling method. Interviews were also done with various stakeholders such as the Mobile Network Operators, ZICTA and the Police. Data was analysed descriptively using SPSS version 16. Results of the study revealed a 67% phone theft prevalence and confirmed that phone thefts in Zambia have been on the rise, without any seemingly workable remedy from the authorities to counter the issue. Further, Samsung mobile phones topped as the most frequently stolen followed by Nokia. Currently, victims of lost or stolen phones report the matter to the Police then the law enforcement wing tries to recover the phone through a manual process. This study proposed to develop a framework that would help enhance collaboration by interested parties and eventually reduce the prevalence of phone theft by ultimately blocking the handset and preventing its reuse in Zambia once reported stolen. Keywords: Mobile Phone theft, CEIR Zambia, Addressing Cell Phone Theft in Zambia, IMEI Blacklisting in Zambia
, Theft--Mobile phones--Zambia