Kampala,Uganda-The Uganda Communication Commission has given only Seven days to phone users in the country to re-register their Simcardsbefore they are switched off.
This wasannounced after a closed door meeting between the Police Chief Gen Kale Kayihura, the Uganda Communication Commission officials and service providers from different Telecom companies in Bugolobi.
All subscribers are requested to re-register their Simcardsusing the National Identification cards, driving permits, and passports. Thosesimcardsthat were registered without the mentioned documents will be switched off.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the UCC executive director Godfrey Mutabazi said that although they had earlier directed telecom companies to deactivate unregistered sim cards, all Ugandans who registered their sim cards using documentation other than the national IDs should verify their sim cards now, while foreigners will be required to use their passports.
MrMutabazi said UCC will deactivate all SIM cards that have not been re-validated using national IDs for Ugandans, passports for foreigners, and certified documents by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) for refugees.
“We are going to serve these guidelines to telecom companies by tomorrow [today] to ensure these resolutions are enforced with immediate effect. Those who will not comply will have their licenses suspended or revoked,” MrMutabazi warned.
Gen Kayihura said mobile phones have become weapons in the hands of criminals but the guidelines will ensure technological advancements are not abused by wrongdoers.
“The 2010 terrorism [in Kampala] and recent crime murders of prominent people, including Sheikhs and our comrade [AIGP] Kaweesi, were coordinated using mobile phones, whose owners are difficult to track because they were not registered,” Gen Kayihura said.
However, Ugandans have reacted to this directive calling it a joke and a very hurried procedure which is not planned for.
Many say that to have a national ID, one is supposed to be 16 years above that means those below 16 will not own simcards and not that every Ugandan has a passport or driving.
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