Museveni Extends Simcard Verification Further, Tumwebaze to Face Parliament Rules Committee

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H.E President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni says the deadline should be extended to August 30th. (PPU Photo)
H.E President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni says the deadline should be extended to August 30th. (PPU Photo)

President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the reactivation of switched-off simcards and the extension of the simcard verification deadline until Wednesday August 30th, PC Tech Magazine has learnt.

Museveni gave the directive on Monday evening while engaging with ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) legislators in their caucus meeting.

The directive comes days after telecommunication companies deactivated all simcards whose registration particulars weren’t verified to match with the details of the National Identity card database.

“Chaired the NRM Caucus today where some MPs appealed for more time for SIM card registration despite the passing of the earlier deadline. I’ve agreed to this proposal on condition that the new deadline will be respected. SIM card registration will therefore run until 30/8/2017,” Museveni said in a string of tweets.

“Ministry of ICT and other concerned government agencies are authorized to allow this new window. I ask Ugandans to take this exercise seriously,’ he added.

Parliament on Thursday had passed a motion to extend the deadline which passed on Friday night for not more than a year, a decision that was overruled by ICT Minister, Frank Tumwebaze.

The legislators among other reasons argued that the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has no capacity to register all Ugandans; considering its constrained staffing as indicated in the Ministerial Policy Statement for Internal Affairs FY 2017/18.

They also observed that “there is no law prohibiting persons below 18 years of age from acquiring and using mobile phone yet the NIRA) only issues cards to citizens aged 18 years and above.”

Tumwebaze however trashed the legislators’ arguments saying  “Parliament proposals are not court orders” before ordering telcos to proceed with the deactivation exercise.

All unverified simcards were hence deactivated on Friday midnight although mobile money services were left untampered with.

Tumwebaze to Face Rules Committee
Following Tumwebaze’s decision to ignore a proposal by “people’s representatives”, he has since been slapped with charges of contempt of parliament and is set to face the rules committee.

Kadaga says that the Minister despite his absenteeism in sessions, disrespected and disregarded the resolutions of parliament and can’t go untouched.

Meanwhile, Kadaga is scheduled to meet the Rules committee today May 23rd, to guide them on how to proceed with the case of Tumwebaze.

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