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UCC to switchoff all unregistered SIM cards by midnight – 29th of March 2017

UCC Boss Godfrey Mutabaazi addressing press in Kampala on Wednesday. Courtesy Photo.

Uganda Communications Commission has through its Executive Director Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi announced that all SIM cards which are partially registered or not registered will be switched off at midnight – 29th of March 2017.

Addressing media reporters on Wednesday at their headquarters in Kampala, Eng. Mutabazi said the directive was resolved in a meeting with representatives from all telecommunication companies.

Although this deadline has in past been extended, the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act of 2010 provides for registration of existing SIM cards.

The crackdown, according to UCC is intended to help law enforcement agencies to identify mobile phone SIM card owners, track criminals who use phones for illegal activities and curb other negative incidents such as; loss of phone through theft, nuisance/hate text messages, fraud, threats and inciting violence among others.

Eng. Mutabazi said today the directive does not leave out the pre- activated sim cards currently being sold on the streets and phone shops.

He also noted that identification cards acceptable for registration will only be national IDs and passports.

“We decided to use passports and national IDs because other documents were being abused and duplicated by many people.”

Additionally, the regulatory body said for the sake of country security, they will have to reduce on the number of simcards one must have.

“No one with more than 10 simcards in their names will be accepted. 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,” Eng. Mutabazi  said.

Mutabazi did not say the exact number of existing mobile subscribers this move will affect however revealed that currently, 23 million users are registered.

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