Phone Users Want Deadline for SimCard Registration Extended

4453 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Several mobile phone users in Kampala have called for Government to extend the deadline for simcard registration to one month instead of seven days. Last week, Government through the Uganda Communications Commission UCC gave phone users seven days to verify their simcard registration using the national identity card or else the phones would be switched off.

Several mobile phone users in Kampala have called for Government to extend the deadline for simcard registration to one month instead of seven days.
 
URN has spoken with many of the phone users who state that Government has not sensitised people on the purpose for the registration, but is rather threatening to switch users off.
 
Last week, Government through the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) gave phone users seven days to verify their simcard registration using the national identity card or else the phones would be switched off.
 
The decision by UCC and the Uganda Police Force to have the lines verified using national identity card number is meant to curb crime as criminals have been using irregularly registered simcards to communicate.
 
The phone users have only four days to go before they get switched off.
 
Juma Kakeeto, one of the phone users states that seven days is too short, claiming that most of the days were public holidays which makes it impossible to register. He says some people have no national IDs, while others with national IDs have failed to read messages sent to them on phone.
 
//Cue in: Luganda: "Gavumenti enakku zeyatekawo…
Cue out:…mwezi nga gumu."//
 
A vendor, who declines to give her identities, says that her line was already registered using another person's identity. She says an attempt to confirm her registration status using the national ID was futile. She says an extension of the deadline will enable her to verify her status.
 
//Cue in: "Mbadde sinabba ku…
Cue out:..ajakuba ndowoza amalirizza."//
 
John Asiimwe says not everyone knows English to read. He says what is clear is the fact that the exercise is being done without sensitising people.
 
//Cue in: "Abantu ba bere…
Cue out:…bajja zi wandika."//
 
Jimmy Ssekisaka, who says he has successfully registered, however, says the process of validating his status was easy. He says the problem is that people were relaxed and yet the days are few. He welcomed the exercise saying it will work well to ensure genuine phone users are registered.
 
//Cue in: "Bampereza message nenyiga…
Cue out:…ku simu ye."//
 
Musa Mpiangu, another phone user says Government should not rush the exercise, adding that the data being collected is of national importance, but rushing the exercise is only making it worse.
  
//Cue in: "Kuba ne national...
Cue out:...kuba ku tuba."// 
  
Most telecom companies are calling for the phone users to comply with the directives to avoid being switched off.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.