Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has issued a new directive that requires all Ugandans to validate their Sim-Card Registration within seven days using their National Identity Cards and Passports  or risk being disconnected.

All the parties agreed that only National Identity Card (IDs) and passports (especially for foreigners) will be the only documents allowed in the one-week verification exercise. Refugees will use information in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) database while Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) will verify companies.

Sim cards that will have not been registered using a valid National ID or passport will be shut down within seven days, according to Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).

The new directive and ultimatum were announced on Tuesday by UCC executive director Godfrey Mutabazi at the regulatory authority’s headquarters in Bugolobi.

Mutabazi was flanked by Uganda Police chief Gen Kale Kayihura. Before the announcement was made, a closed meeting involving UCC, the telecoms, National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) and National Information Technology Authority (NITA) took place.

“If you registered using a school ID, Company ID, LC ID or whatever ID, your registration is invalid as far as we are concerned,” Mutabazi said while addressing the media at the Bugolobi based offices.

He added that students who do not possess National IDs will use their parent’s ID plus their birth certificate to register their sim cards.

A directive has already been issued to ensure that each person can only register one sim card per National ID number per telecommunication company.

Following the murder last month of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his body guard and driver, police asked UCC to switch off all unregistered sim-cards because some of the suspects had unregistered cards that were difficult to track.

UCC then issued a one-day ultimatum to have all unregistered sim-cards deactivated. But we have since learnt that the telecommunication companies had trouble implementing this directive.

But now according to Mutabazi, “Anybody who fails two verify their registration using a National ID within seven days will be switched off.”

Mutabazi also revealed that the parties at the meeting preceding the announcement had agreed to provide to NIRA a list of verified subscribers for further validation.