Starting from today (March 1, 2018), MTN Uganda, the country’s largest telecom, has announced that no person should be sold a SIM card unless they possess an electronic Identity Card.
This comes barely a day after President Yoweri Museveni has issued an order to the Uganda Communications Commission to tighten mobile connectivity following the shocking death of Susan Magara, an accountant and daughter to John Fitzegerald Magara who is a businessman.
President Museveni now demands that for anyone to buy a mobile phone of SIMcard, they should reveal their identity using any of the electronic identity cards like; National ID, NSSF card, Driving Permit or a passport for foreigners.
A statement released on Thursday said: “MTN Uganda wishes to inform its customers of the guidelines issued by the Uganda Communications Commission below, to be followed in case of loss or theft of SIM cards.”
“All MTN Uganda SIM card replacements shall be made at designated MTN Service Centers.”
“All requests for SIM card replacement shall be made by the owner of the SIM card physically, upon presentation of a letter from the Uganda Police confirming loss or theft of the SIM card.”
“SIM card registration and activation shall only be made after validation of the customer registration details including presentation of a National ID.”
Government in May last year ordered all the telecom companies to switch off unregistered phone numbers. However, some have remained active.
The late Magara’s kidnappers were using 17 phone SIM cards throughout the hostage period to demand a ransom from the family, but these SIM cards cannot be traced to any of the kidnappers. The preliminary information says the SIM cards seem to have been registered under pseudo names. However, again this triggers queries about the country’s security system. Security is not just for the safety of the State, but for every citizen and person resident in this country.