Uganda’s telecom companies have began reactivating nearly two million Sim cards they had switched off after the expiry of a registration deadline.

The move was prompted by President Yoweri Museveni’s order on Monday evening that the listing exercise be extended to end of August.

Authorities at the Uganda Communications Commission and the ICT ministry have directed telecommunication companies to resolve the technical glitches that saw many of their registered subscribers switched off within the new deadline of August 30th.

President Museveni’s directive to extend the deadline for the registration of sim cards came as a relief for thousands of Ugandans and foreign nationals who had not registered.

The government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa, told journalists that the president issued the directive in response to MPs’ demands for an extension to allow eligible school going children, and other people with difficulties accessing registration centres, to register for national identity cards.

The president said the directive was issued after meeting with members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, who appealed for more time.

“I’ve agreed to this proposal on condition that the new deadline will be respected; Sim card registration will therefore run until August 30, 2017,” President Museveni said on Twitter.

Telcos had begun switching off unregistered Sim cards on Saturday following the expiry of the May 19 deadline.