The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has spoken out on the controversial use of National Identity Card data in the mandatory sim-card registration exercise.
The telecommunications regulatory boss, ed Eng Godfrey Mutabazi said government is using the National Registration and Identification Authority (NIRA) Act that allows only ID information for the exercise.
“The national ID is the only acceptable document for this exercise according to the law,” said Mutabazi in an interview with ChimpReports.
UCC officials said they were implementing a “collective decision” of government to have all sim-cards registered.
“We are working on the instructions of security,” said a UCC official, adding, “a security decision is a security decision.”
This website understands following the killing of AIGP Andrew Kaweesi, police and other security agencies discovered dozens of unregistered sim-cards in residences of the suspected assassins.
IGP Gen Kale Kayihura would later tell the telecom industry players that telephones are now tools of crime hence the need for a mandatory registration exercise of all sim-cards.
Security further decided that only national ID numbers should be used in the exercise.
But several telecom stakeholders have protested the move saying a great number of people do not have their national IDs for various reasons and are therefore at risk of having their SIM cards deactivated for factors not within their control as consumers of telecommunication services.
The ICT Association of Uganda said the “law regarding SIM registration, the regulation of interception of communications Act 2010 is permissive and allows the use of other forms of identification documents.”
Ugandans on different platforms have since called upon government to allow them register their sim-cards using other official documents including driver’s permit and passport.
The association further said Uganda’s economy increasingly relies on mobile money transfers and related services whose ecosystem could be negatively affected by disconnecting a large number of users.