With a few days left, the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, has said there shall be no extension of the sim-card registration and verification exercise beyond the August 30th deadline that was set by government. “The deadline for deactivating all unregistered, unverified or invalid SIM cards as directed by his Excellency President Yoweri Museveni, and in accordance with the law will be enforced come midnight 30th August 2017” the Prime Minister said.
As of Thursday last week, the Minister of security General Henry Tumukudde, had told Member of Parliament’s ICT committee that various stakeholders from the relevant government departments and agencies were to hold a meeting with telecoms operators chaired by the Prime Minister to come up with a final position. Rugunda who was addressing the media last week in company with the security Minister General Henry Tumukudde, Frank Tumwebaze the ICT Minister, noted that approximately 98 percent of active SIM cards in Uganda are compliant with the requirements of the current registration and verification exercise.
Are all loop holes for criminals closed?
“NIRA, will after the deadline of 30 August 2017, continues to register and issue National IDs and verified means of those who apply to have their SIM cards registered and also verified.” The Prime Minister added that those with positive balances on their mobile money accounts by the passing of the deadline will have a limited window, with which to withdraw the money. However, they will not be allowed to make fresh deposits. The Minister of security General Henry Tumukudde, has given assurance that any positive loop holes that might allow criminal elements to register SIM cards have been identified and dealt with. “May be its important to give notice to the public that, we have capacity to tell when things are not going correct” he said.
Meanwhile, refugees will continue to register and verify their SIM cards using valid IDs issued by the office of the Prime Minister. The SIM card registration and verification exercise, was initiated to implemented provisions of the law that was contained in the section of the communication act 2010, and the registrations of persons in 2015 which makes it mandatory for everyone in Uganda to register their SIM card using National Identity Numbers (NIN). The exercise had been previously postponed not once but twice, due to technical and man-power problems that were largely attributed to the systems being overwhelmed by the large numbers of people who had previously not registered for the National IDs.