Minister Tumwebaze: SIM Card Verification Deadline Still Stands Despite Parliament Motion

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The Minister for Information, Communication Technology and National guidance, Frank Tumwebaze has said that the deadline for simcard verification still stands despite parliament’s motion to extend it by not more than one year.

Tumwebaze made the revelation in a tweet on his official timeline on Thursday evening confirming that telecommunications operators would go ahead and deactivate simcards at midnight.

“While government notes and will address issues of parliament in regard to Simcard verification period, the deadline stands,” he tweeted.

“Issues raised by parliament like loss of money through switch off of mobile money will all be mitigated,” Tumwebaze added.

Parliament had earlier passed a motion that the deadline of exercise be extended for a period of not more than one year citing several reasons including understaffing at the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA)

Legislators argued that the authority has no capacity to register all Ugandans considering its constrained staffing as indicated in the Ministerial Policy Statement for Internal Affairs FY 2017/18.

The motion to extend the deadline was tabled by Kasese Woman MP who doubles as the leader of opposition in parliament, Hon. Winne Kizza.

Kizza said that “there is no law prohibiting persons below 18 years of age from acquiring and using mobile phone yet the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) only issues cards to citizens aged 18 years and above.”

It remains to be seen whether the operators will go ahead to deactivate the simcards or not as the deadline is just hours away.

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