Uganda: UCC Insists On 7-Day Simcard Validation Ultimatum

By | April 12, 2017

All mobile phone sim-cards must be verified and validated within seven days or risk being switched off, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has warned.

The warning is the latest among many previous ones from the regulatory body, where it has severally threatened to deactivate unregistered sim-cards.

 During yesterday’s stakeholders meeting with National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura and representatives from various telecommunication companies, UCC directed mobile telecommunications service providers to verify all sim card subscriber details using their national identity cards or passports (for foreigners) within seven days starting on April 12.

Refuges are required to present their identification documents from the Office of the Prime Minister. After the directive, UCC has come under fire on social media for what some have called an inconsiderate move, as not all Ugandans have national IDs.

The regulatory body, however insists that by law, all Ugandans above 18 years of age must be in possession of a national ID. For those below 18 years, they can use their parent’s ID details for registration, UCC says.

 Further, UCC was also reminded that the 7-day verification period was impractical; because it includes a weekend (two days) and two public holidays – Good Friday and Easter Monday.
But the head, public and international relations at UCC, Pamela Ankunda said in a tweet, that their offices and those of National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) shall remain open throughout the Easter weekend to enable a smooth verification process.

Subscribers can either validate their sim-cards themselves by dialing USSD code, *197# – across all networks and then entering their national ID number. Or visit the telecommunications service centers with their ID/passport to have their registration verified.

“Please note that all sim cards whose details are not updated and verified by Thursday April 20, 2017 shall be deactivated,” the UCC statements reads in part.

The process of sim-card registration began in 2013, and although in January 2014, UCC announced that 94 percent of all sim-cards in the country had been fully registered, it was later established that the information collected had not been verified by the telecoms.

Also, unregistered sim-cards from some telecoms are still on sale even today. UCC had previously boasted of having the means to deactivate unregistered sim-cards deactivated.

Following the shooting dead of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi last month, the issue of unregistered sim-cards still in use resurfaced again for debate; as it was established that prior to his assassination, Kaweesi had reportedly been sent death threats on his mobile phone number from unregistered or partially registered sim-cards.

Source: all Africa