UCC boss directs telecoms to switch on sim cards

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Director Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi attending an innovation dialogue at Serena hotel on Wednesday

The Uganda Communications Commission [UCC] executive director, Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, has ordered telecom companies to re-activate unregistered sim cards.

Mutabazi told press at Serena hotel in Kampala Wednesday afternoon that all deactivated sim cards will be switched back sometime today.

He based his directive on an earlier directive by President Yoweri Museveni who extended the sim card registration to August 30, after appeals from the NRM Parliamentary caucus.

“All sim cards that were disconnected on May, 19 should be switched back as soon as possible as per directive from Museveni,” Mutabazi said.

He promised that within a couple of hours, everyone should be back on air for those whose cards were switched off.

“Sim card registration exercise still goes on for three more months. All you need to register is a national ID,” Mutabazi said.

Video by NTV Uganda

He reiterated that president said this would be the final extension and all relevant bodies involved in the registration of sim cards, issuing national IDs and the validation of sim cards against holders IDs should endeavour to complete the tasks in the time given.

Airtel Uganda was the first telecom to respond to UCC’s directive. Airtel lines are back on air.

Yesterday, legislators have tasked the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology to furnish the Parliament with an action plan for the implementation of the nationwide Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card registration exercise.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga in her communication to the house, said that the on-going SIM card registration exercise has been marred by numerous flaws, and added that there is therefore a need for government to provide a Statement on how it is going about the exercise.

“We as Parliament need to know how the government is going to deal with children below 18 years without national identity cards; those who registered but have not yet got their national identity cards and; those who registered their SIM cards but have been switched off,” Kadaga said.

She said that the government should have taken due diligence to provide an explanation of what the exercise is all about before embarking on it.