The Minister of Security, Gen Henry Tumukunde has revealed that government won’t relent on its earlier position of switching off all unregistered SIM cards by August 30.
Tumukunde made the revelation while interfacing with the ICT parliamentary Committee flanked by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen Jeje Odong and other government agencies.
Tumukunde told members that the decision follows an earlier meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda.
In accordance with the Law, the Presidential Directive on the matter and with consultation with the Telecom sector regulator and the National Identity Regulator, it our position that the 30th August deadline holds, and won’t be postponed,” Tumukunde said
He also noted that the directive comes after consultation and guidance from the Prime Minister, Minister for Internal Affairs and the Minister for ICT and National Guidance.
Tumukunde said that with the high penetration of telecommunication services in Uganda, Security of Citizens and property must be guaranteed.
“Registration of SIM cards is one step in bringing security to a fast-growing sector of our economy to give our security organs the ability to pinpoint criminals that use these for malicious gain and to track down agents that want to cause us harm. This is a key measure that’s being implemented worldwide.”
“We are happy to report that we are over 98% complete with the exercise and I encourage those that have not verified their SIM Cards to do so before the deadline of 30th August 2017.”
Tumukunde assured the public that mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that any airtime and data bundle on a deactivated SIM card will be noted and returned to the SIM upon reactivation.
Subscribers with deactivated SIM cards will be allowed to withdraw or send money but not to deposit unless registered within a grace period that will be communicated.
Registration will continue while foreigners will continue to register their SIM cards using Passports or Alien Cards while refugees are able to register their SIMs using their valid refugee cards issued by the Office of the Prime Minister.
Minors will register their SIM cards through the NINs of their Parents or guardians.
Any other issues arising during and after the switch off will be handled by the joint committees that have been established.
He noted that Government has assessed the likely financial impact as against the 2% percent that are yet to register their SIMs and considered that in its decision.