East African Cables unveils system to curb counterfeits

Fibre optic cables.
Zinduka will help buyers to verify the authenticity of cables. PHOTO/FILE
East African Cables has unveiled a product verification system in a bid to fight off counterfeit products.

The system dubbed Zinduka is set to minimize the loss of at least Sh300m incurred by the sector due to proliferation of counterfeit cables.

The system is based on a short message service (SMS) that would help buyers to verify the authenticity of cables.

“The mobile authentication system will help customers to identify original cables by scratching to reveal a unique code then sending it to 38353,”  the firm’s managing director George Mwangi said during the launch on February 6.

Zinduka was set up in partnership with Sproxil East Africa Ltd and Safaricom at a cost of Sh50 million.

The technology will enable the cable firm to locate where counterfeiting is taking place and share the information with law enforcers, according to Sproxil country director Geoffrey Otieno.

East African Cables has also set up a 24-hour toll free call number, 0800720122, for customers to air their views.

The government has announced plans to ban importation of electric cables in effort to stem proliferation of counterfeits in the country.

“We will not be a dumping ground any more. We are making strong recommendations that will encourage uptake of locally manufactured cables,” said Industrialisation PS Cyrus Njiru.

The government has also promised to develop a cable certification regime to ensure both domestic and commercial cables are not counterfeit.

The Kenya Power and Anti-Counterfeit Agency and the Energy Regulatory Commission have been mandated with development of the certification model.