Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) sets 'tough' guide lines for sim replacement/swaps. (Photo Credit: bagu.org)
Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) sets 'tough' guide lines for sim replacement/swaps. (Photo Credit: bagu.org)

Government regulatory body of the communications sector; Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) on Friday last week received simcard readers from the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) after long pressure from the regulator body.

The introduction of the new devices to the telecom sector comes after UCC temporarily halted simcard sales or replacement following the murder of a Kampala-based cashier Suzan Magara, whose kidnappers reached the family to demand a ransom using simcards that were unregistered and couldn’t be traced.

NIRA claims that the new technology will help telecom companies verify simcard ‘rightful’ owners with the personal details submitted to the company (NIRA).

UCC came out and set ‘tough’ guidelines for those that will be replacing/swaping simcards. Under the new rules, for a subscriber to replace their simcard, they must present a police report, a letter from NIRA verifying their bio data, re-filling new simcard registration forms, passport photographs, and telecoms firms will as well use biometrics in the process. This means that the rightful owner of the simcard has to be present for this process and not any third-party. And finally, telecom firms will have to ensure that the simcard holder/owner is going to use the simcard in a genuine type approved device.

The telecom companies have been asked to comply with the new guidelines.

There was no mention/comment of when the readers will be sent to these telecoms or when they will resume will sim sales and replacements as well.