UCC's Godfrey Mutabazi
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MTN Customers register their SIM cards during the ongoing at Lugogo Shoprite in Kampala. Image: In2EastAfrica.net
MTN Customers register their SIM cards during the ongoing at Lugogo Shoprite in Kampala. Image: In2EastAfrica.net

After months of intense activity, from hurried sim card registration to attempted court proceedings, intense debate and numerous blog posts and tweets, government has taken the route many had predicted, extending the deadline for Simcard Registration for a further 3 months!

The exercise will continue till May 31 and thereafter, another three months will be allocated for data verification.

Uganda Communications Commission boss (UCC) Eng Godfrey Mutabazi told journalists at the regulator body’s headquarters in Kampala on Friday the extension was aimed at allowing room for telecommunication companies to verify and validate data obtained.

He further said the body had registered complaints of extortion by registration agents and Local Councils, which he said was illegal.

Mutabazi further noted that some of the collected data had been lost by telecoms.

This could be one of the reasons why some subscribers who had registered their SIM cards were later informed to register again.

Despite a huge publicity campaign urging Ugandans to register SIM Cards before close of February 2012, millions remained defiant.

Mutabazi said out of 16 million mobile phone users, 11 million SIM cards have been registered.

“I appealed to political and local authorities to drum up support for the SIM card registration to ensure timely completion of this exercise,” said Mutabazi.

He noted the registration is aimed at among others crime prevention “for the safety of all Ugandans.”