Uganda Communications Commission to switch off partially and unregistered sim-cards in the country effective today midnight.
“All non-registered and partially registered sim cards on the various networks must be deactivated by midnight of 29th March 2017,” Mutabazi stated.
In March 2013, UCC launched what it called a mandatory Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card registration setting a deadline of August 2013 for all mobile phone users to have registered their cards. The deadline, however, passed quietly.
In November 2015, UCC wrote to all mobile telecom players to register all their subscribers or face consequences. The consequences, UCC warned, included revoking licenses, fines or disconnection. To this day, however, thousands of sim cards are still in operation without being registered.
The decision to have all the unregistered sim cards deactivated comes after Special Investigations Division discovered that numbers of text messages sent to Kaweesi threatening his life were not registered.
“After we received the information about the death threats, we perused through Kaweesi’s phones and found some messages. We have since been trying to trace the faces behind the messages,” a reliable source within the Special Investigations Division (SID) who is part of the investigations.
This publication has learnt that three mobile telephone numbers which police was trying to trace were found not to have been registered.
While Kaweesi’s replacement as police spokesperson, Asan Kasingye, was not willing to comment on the progress of this particular murder investigation, he says existence of unregistered simcards has blocked very many investigations.
“People buy these lines, use them to threaten or even defraud people. These simcards are then disposed, making it impossible to trace them,” Kasingye says.
Police has since asked the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to switch off all unregistered simcards.
On Tuesday, Mutabazi had a fruitful meeting CEOs of telecoms and they agreed on a move to switch off all the non-registered SIM cards.
According to UCC, for purposes of cleaning up, they are restricting SIM card registration to passport or National ID.
However, telecom operators are requesting access to the National ID database for verification of subscribers and SIM registration.