Sabahi (Washington, DC)

3 January 2013

Kenyans Must Register SIM Cards or Face Jail, Fines

The Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communication has given citizens until Friday (January 4th) to register their mobile phone SIM cards, Kenya's The Standard reported.

"We have until Friday and everyone should understand that the implication of not registering would actually cost them 300,000 shillings ($3,500) or three years in jail," said Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo. "The regulations are already with the attorney general's office and the gazette notice is coming out on Friday."

The deadline for registration was originally on Monday, with the government threatening to shut off unregistered numbers, but none has been switched off.

Ndemo said the registration crackdown is essential for ensuring a smooth election season, enabling police to trace messages inciting violence and arrest the responsible individuals, Kenya's Capital FM reported.

There are 30.8 million active SIM cards in Kenya, 80.4% of which are registered, according to the Communications Commission of Kenya.

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