, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – Chief Executives of mobile phone companies have denied claims that there are active SIM cards that are unregistered on their networks.
Speaking on behalf of the firms, Safaricom Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Director Nzioka Waita confirmed that the executives had recorded statements with the police in ongoing investigations on SIM card registration.
Waita said that the CEOs had pledged to cooperate with the relevant authorities in their probe.
“We are aware of media reports that the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) is seeking to take legal action against licensed mobile phone operators that have not fully complied with the regulations and we can confirm that we are giving the relevant authorities our full cooperation,” he said.
The CEOs however criticised the manner in which the government and the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) handled the matter saying that they learnt of possible action against them through the media yet they maintain constant communication with authorities.
“We wish to express our extreme displeasure at the sensational manner in which this issue has been handled, as licensed operators we maintain a daily engagement with our regulators and are always available for open dialogue,” he said.
The matter came to light on Monday when the Cabinet Secretary for ICT Fred Matiang’i said unregistered SIM cards had been used to undertake criminal activities.
Matiang’i said: “Chief Executive Officers of the four mobile companies will be held responsible over the sale of the unregistered SIM cards and those found guilty will be arrested.”
“We have firmly instructed CCK to take action on all the mobile phone companies and their Chief Executive Officers, because if you’ve read the law clearly, the CEOs or individual leaders of the companies are criminally liable. Action is being taken against some of these companies”, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT said.
Matiang’i instructed the CCK to ensure all SIM cards that are not registered are switched off in the next 48 hours.