UCC: Switching on sim cards harder than switching off

Mr. Mutabazi is the Executive Director of the Uganda Communications Commision (UCC)

The Uganda Communications Commission [UCC] executive director, Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, has explained the delay is re-activating all sim cards that were switched off last week.

Yesterday, Mutabazi ordered telecom companies to re-activate unregistered sim cards basing 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.

Some customers were switched back on by telecoms while others were not yet Mutabazi had said “all sim cards that were disconnected on May, 19 would be switched back as soon”.

He promised that within a couple of hours, everyone should be back on air for those whose cards were switched off, which isn’t what happened.

“Switching on SIM cards is not as easy as switching off,” he told NBS TV on Thursday morning.

Victoria University

According to Mutabazi, UCC is switching back on sim cards in batches, “therefore it takes time”.

“We are having a few technicalities. Bringing people back on air is a process. It took like 12 hours, that is a record time.”

Mutabazi hopes that at the end of 90 days everyone will have registered maintaining that 90 days are more than enough.

“This is a security question. All we did was to implement government’s directive. I think 7 days were a wakeup call to people.”

Mutabazi says UCC is looking at 22 million registered SIM cards and believes at the end of the registration process, they will have around 24 million registered cards.

“This exercise of registration has been ongoing since 2013. Registration of SIM cards is a good thing.”

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.



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