Tumwebaze: Forget about parliament, unregistered sim cards will be switched off

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parliament on thurday evening passed a motion to extend sim card registration by one year, the minister for ICT & National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze, has said that sim card registration deadline of 19th May 2017 still stands. ‘ ‘The deadline of 19th May set by government will be enforced at Midnight. This is therefore to confirm that the deadline stands and all unregistered, unverified and un-validated SIM cards will be switched off initially for voice communications. In other words the holders of those cards will not be able to receive or make calls.’’ Tumwebaze told journalists at media centre. Quoting UCC figures, Tumwebaze said: From UCC records submissions from telecoms stand at 92% of all active SIM cards in the country.

He added: As a measure however, to mitigate loss of money for those with Mobile Money deposits, the service will not be switched off for the unregistered, unverified and un-validated SIM cards. A transition period will be allowed for those Mobile Money customers to either withdraw their balances or transfer them to registered SIM cards or to their banks. While withdrawal or transfer of Mobile Money balances on unregistered/unverified numbers will be enabled, loading/depositing of more money will be disabled on the unverified cards.

Tumwebaze assured Ugandans that no funds deposited on Mobile Money will be lost in the exercise. ‘ ‘The regulator, UCC has been instructed by government to inform all the telecom operators accordingly.’’ He said.
He added: Another measure taken by government to ease the registration, verification and validation process for citizens as demanded by Parliament and citizens, is for NIRA to allow new ID applicants whose IDs are still pending processing to use their application form numbers. Once they get their IDs, with the National Identification Number (NINs) then they can re-submit online using the USSD code *197#.

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After the deadline is there any other opportunity to verify/validate SIM cards?
While the switch off will disable voice communication on the affected SIM cards, the exercise of verification continues just as registration of citizens is continuous. Any citizen with the requisite registration/verification documents will then approach their service provider to either register for any new SIM card or verify their old but switched off cards.

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