On Thursday morning, Uganda’s leading telecom company, MTN Uganda, embarked on a “soft suspension” of unregistered sim cards ahead of the main disconnection deadline tomorrow Friday May 19, 2017.
“Clients whose registration was not fully done were suspended this morning as a reminder to complete,” MTN tweeted giving customers a link for online registration.
The telecom said it was only suspending numbers that have not yet been verified but later lifted the “soft deactivation” midday.
“This is a soft suspension, dial *197*3#ok to submit your NIN [National Identification Number (NIN)], however, your SIM will be activated at noon today,” MTN tweeted after subscribers, finding themselves unable to make phone calls, lashed out with rage.
Court throws out sim card registration case
Meanwhile, the High Court in Kampala on Thursday rejected the plea by Ugandans who wanted telecommunication service providers stopped from switching off unverified SIM cards.
Jobless Brotherhood asked court to issue an injunction restraining the Uganda Communications’ Communication (UCC) from deactivating all unregistered SIM-cards on May 19, 2017.
High Court Judge, Justice Stephen Musota, in his ruling, said government had given Ugandans two years to register their sim cards and that they cannot run to court as an excuse.
He reminded them that government, through Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, even gave them a month’s extension but still they could not utilize the opportunity to register for their SIM cards.
Ugandans register on last minute
After MTN made a sample deactivation, Ugandans rushed to district headquarters to register their SIM-cards in order to beat the deadline.
Those who are still unregistered blame National Identification Registration Authority [NIRA] for having never received their national IDs.