The Ministry of Security has ordered the telecom regulator Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to verify information provided by telephone users in the Sim Card registration exercise. The Commission is expected to match data collected during the National Identity card registration exercise with that gathered in the Sim card registration exercise to identify those who provided falsified information for prosecution.
The registration of all operational SIM cards was conducted by the security ministry under the call interception communications act. The Uganda communications commission UCC, was tasked with implementing the exercise that started on first of march 2012. The commission says that the exercise was meant to register all exiting mobile telephone numbers for easy tracing and fighting crime but was allegedly defaulted by some Ugandan citizens who provided wrong bio data. To correct this, UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabaazi said that the security Minister wrote to the commission ordering them to use the information captured in the national Identify card registration exercise to scrutinize persons details provided during the SIM card registration. He told NBS TV during an interview that
“When the National ID comes in we shall synchronize the data, and know exactly the correct identities, names and addresses. There is no way this exercise would have been successful. Thats why some of the people are still abusing the system because we don’t have accurate information”
It is alleged that some Ugandans used photographs and names of the deceased persons and others forged documents and provided false names. On this UCC ED said that
“At that time it was word of mouth, letter from LC, from the local pastors and so on, so it was difficult. But I think the national ID has gone further and done a good job. So we are waiting for that data and then we shall synchronize and everything will be fine. “
The compulsory SIM card registration exercise its self faced challenges with the human rights journalists, unsuccessful running to court to have the exercise stopped on grounds that the generated data would be used to invade people’s privacy. Mutabaazi says that his commission will help the security minister in scrutinizing the data and sanctioning of the penalties but it will the Ministry’s role to peruse the culprits.
In case you know of any unregistered SIM cards, the commission urges you to report to them for investigation and they will later handover to the security ministry. UCC cannot easily take action easily because its not mandated. The ministry of security expects verification exercise to be conducted later this year. It is however not clear whether the exercise will be a success since some fraction of Ugandans are yet to register for the National IDs.
Image Credit: NBS TV