Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) executive director Godfrey Mutabazi has ordered all telecommunication companies to immediately de-activate all sim cards that are not registered.
Mutabazi told journalists at the commission’s head office in Kampala on Wednesday: “All non-registered and partially registered sim cards on the various networks must be deactivated by midnight of 29th March 2017,” Mutabazi told journalists.”
This means that Ugandans with unregistered and partially registered now have a few hours toi the deadline.
“The only customer identification documents valid for the purpose of sim card registration shall be the national Identification Cards and valid passports,” said Mutabazi, arguing that other documents such as local council recommendation letters and driving permits do not provide sufficient information.
Mutabazi revealed that representatives from all telecommunication companies had been consulted and they had made the resolution.
According to the UCC boss, failure to comply with the direct will prompt government to fine the telecom company at least 10 per cent of its gross annual revenue.
He also revealed that the directive is due to security concerns in the wake of the gruesome murder 12 days ago of former police spokesperson Felix Kaweesi, his body guard and driver, by unknown assailants.
Recently, Police publicist Asan Kasingye revealed that investigations into such murders were being hampered by mobile phone users who had unregistered sim cards and were difficult to track.
He revealed that only 23 million phone users had registered their sim cards. Mutabazi also set conditions for those who want to register multiple sim cards.
“If you have more than one sim card, you will have to provide proof of how you are to use them. If you’re buying it for your son, you have to provide a birth certificate to show the relationship, “he explained.
It is not clear whether the newly set deadline will be met by millions of Ugandans with unregistered cards. Previous deadlines have been unmet by some Ugandans.