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Matiang’i outlines new rules for SIM registration

"I want to assure you that we are not going to be seeing situations where you can buy a SIM card across the road, activate it within that time, kidnap someone's children"/FILE

“I want to assure you that we are not going to be seeing situations where you can buy a SIM card across the road, activate it within that time, kidnap someone’s children”/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14 – The government is planning to set new rules on SIM registration in bid to curb usage of unregistered cards.

Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i says in the new rules, users will no longer be able to buy SIM cards from hawkers.

“I want to assure you that we are not going to be seeing situations where you can buy a SIM card across the road, activate it within that time, kidnap someone’s children and continue harassing policemen from mobile phones which we cannot trace and as government, it’s a responsibility we owe to the people of Kenya,” he assured.

Matiang’i says that mobile phone technology is critical to the security of the country and there is need to manage the infrastructure more seriously.

“If you have travelled around the world, where would you buy a SIM card from a hawker on the street where we have no one verifying your details? that’s why we have the menace of mobile phones being misused back and forth,” he said.

Matiang’i says unregistered SIM cards will make it difficult to handle aspects of crime and cyber security.

He also says the government is set to up-scale its deployment of ICT solutions across the public sector to boost service delivery to the public.

“There is pressing need to have public institutions improve the quality of the service rendered with a view to improving performance and economic development,” he said.

Matiang’i said in the near future, an integrated electronic payment platform will be put in place to ensure public institutions do not handle cash payments.

Earlier, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) said it will revoke licenses of mobile phone operators that fail to comply with the law.

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CCK research indicates that more than 600,000 active SIM cards are not registered.

President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered an immediate mop up of all unregistered SIM cards to prevent their use by criminals.

He directed the ICT Ministry to work with CCK and mobile phone service providers in ensuring that no unregistered SIM card was operational.

President Kenyatta said national security was paramount and nothing would be allowed to compromise it.

He stated that the Ministry of ICT and CCK should involve mobile phone service providers in ensuring that the system of SIM cards registration is accurate, tamper-proof and reflective of the genuine mobile phone subscribers

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