With just hours left ahead of tomorrow’s deadline to verify mobile Sim cards, Parliament has passed a motion extending the registration of SIM cards by not more than one year.
The Leader of Opposition Hon. Winnie Kiiza moved motion to extend the deadline with Mukono South MP Johnson Muyanja supporting the motion while Buvuma Woman MP Jennifer Nantume Egunyu wanted the deadline extended for just a month.
However, Members of Parliament overwhelmingly agreed that simcard disconnection will disrupt mobile money business including the transfer of funds from diaspora.
Several Ugandans took to social media to celebrate Parliament’s decision.
— Tucker Dobbs (@MosesKMugalu) May 18, 2017
— Pure Genius (@reyes_ug) May 18, 2017
— 아이작 #GraceWalker (@Eyexaque) May 18, 2017
Parliament: we move a motion to extend sim card registration.
— Allan Cyrus° (@allan_cyrus) May 18, 2017
There were long queues have been forming in parts of Kampala and other major towns of the country today. Hundreds are gathered at the Kololo Independence ground and Nakawa Urban Council headquarters, where ID registration has been ongoing.
Hundreds are gathered at the Kololo Independence ground and Nakawa Urban Council headquarters, where ID registration has been ongoing.
In April, the Uganda Police and the Communications Commission issued a 7-day ultimatum for Ugandans to verify their Sim cards using their National ID details, as a measure of fighting increased crime in the country.
After a huge outcry this deadline was extended for a month.
Some of the telecommunication companies have already started deactivating cards and people have been venting their frustration via social media.
The process has, however, been plagued by glitches.
Some told me they have been coming to the registration point for three weeks without getting their IDs or ID numbers.
Others say they have submitted their biodata more than three times but their names still cannot be found in the electronic system.
Meanwhile, some have started the process all over again and are just filling in registration forms.
If government goes ahead with the planned de-activation of the sim cards, nearly seven out of the 21 million phone subscribers risk being switched off tomorrow.
Many people use their phones to facilitate financial transactions.