UCC Executive Director Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi has disclosed the new enforcement strategy after meeting telecommunication companies today at the commissions headquarters in Bugolobi, Kampala.
The meeting was also attended by the Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura and Criminal Investigations and the Intelligence Directorate CIID boss Grace Akullo.
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) directed that sim-cards will only be sold at telecom service centres until new places are gazetted.
In line with this new directive, Police has warned that any persons found selling sim cards illegally will be arrested.
The new directive was arrived at after a meeting between UCC and stakeholders who include police, telecom companies and National Identification Registration Authority among others.
Speaking at UCC offices in Bugolobi, the Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi said that all companies will be expected to update their clients data for the purpose of weeding out those forged registration documents.
The Uganda Communications Commission has also vowed to punish telecom companies that do not deactivate all unregistered Sim-Cards.
UCC’s Executive Director Godfrey Mutabaazi says they will not allow any telecom company to break Communication laws which they must enforce in the interest of the country’s Security.
Earlier in March, Police sounded a warning to Telecom companies, mainly Airtel Uganda, that are said to be aiding a new kind of thieves.
According to Police, one car plate thief who was netted confessed that Airtel employees make their jobs easy by providing them with unregistered lines which they leave behind for owners of cars to call on and send money to recover their stolen number plates.
This publication also understands that street vendors have developed a habit of registering simcards in random names for them to be activated by the telecommunication companies, to allow them get sold easily.
It is a common habit among Ugandans to want SIM cards that get activated instantly as compared to waiting for the registration process.
Police would later task telecommunications operators through UCC to block all unregistered SIM cards although many remain on street, registered in names of identities that do not exist.
Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC Executive Director issued the directive on Wednesday, a day after meeting the telecom operators about stern measures to curb crime through sim card registration.
“All pre-activated sim cards that are currently being sold on the market must be deactivated by midnight on 29th March 2017,” Mutabazi stated during a media briefing at the commission’s head offices in Kampala.
In addition to switching off unregistered phone numbers, no person is allowed to possess more than 10 sim cards registered in his or her name.
The only documents to be accepted at the point of registration will be one’s national identity card or valid passport. Previously, telecom operators were accepting other documents such as driving permits.
Mutabazi said the strict orders were meant to address insecurity and protect the telecom industry and the country from crime and rampant phone-related fraud.
The new directive comes a day after it was discovered that unregistered sim cards were on sale and users could easily make calls using them.
The revelation comes in the wake of rising phone-related crime, including extortion, harassment and threats through phone calls and text messages.