Telecom companies were last Tuesday grilled after failing to convince the communications consumers that they had managed to put out of service unregistered simcards.

The telecoms were asked by the minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Eng. John Nasasira, who tasked the managers of the mobile network operators to address the concerns of the consumers about the growing usage of unregistered Simcards.

The minister asked why they allow a person at any time to hold and use unregistered Simcard yet they have the technology that can block unregistered Simcards from being used.

“How come I am receiving so many complaints that such cards are in use? How do people using such cards get them?” the minister asked.

The events took place at the second annual communications consumer parliament at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.

The consumer parliament was convened under the theme “Empowering Consumers through Knowledge” and it aimed at providing consumers with an opportunity to express their concerns in relation to the theme and to enable service providers to address consumer issues as required of them.

Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) executive director also accused the telecom managers present that they were reaping exorbitant profits in allowing unregistered Simcards remain in service.

He ordered the telecom companies to block all the unregistered Simcards with immediate effect, vowing to close and fine any of them whose clients will be found operating with unregistered Simcards.

The executive director of Uganda Consumers’ Protection Association, Sam Kuloba Watasa, had earlier presented a petition to UCC and ICT ministry decrying a number of irregularities by the telephony operators which included  frequent network failures, unsolicited ringtones and eventual cash deductions, free airtime offers, unending promotions without clearly stating the terms and conditions and deductions made on money transfer platforms.

Via New Vision