The Uganda Communnications Commission (UCC) will switch off any unregistered simcards this Saturday, August 31, saying it will not offer any grace period.
The disconnection will affect the mobile phones, landlines, and owners of modems. After connection, the gadgets will not be able to make or receive any phone call, and will not be able to browse the internet.
"This simcard registration exercise has been on for one-and-a-half years. We have given people ample time and there will be no extension this time," noted security minister Muruli Mukasa at the UCC offices this week.
Mukasa said that Uganda Communications Commission, together with telecom companies, had done enough to inform, sensitise and reach subscribers to register their Simcards.
"We are satisfied that there are only eight per cent of active Sim cards that have not been registered. If these do not register in the remaining time, they shall be deactivated," he promised.
Simcard registration is a global initiative. More than a dozen African countries have already or are in the process of registering their mobile phone subscribers.
"Our neighbours in Kenya and Rwanda have finished the exercise. We cannot do this for ever," said Godfrey Mutabaazi, the executive director of UCC.
Tanzania finalised the exercise in June this year, and an estimated 650,000 phones were switched off for failure to register. Mutabaazi clarified that although the numbers shall be deactivated, owners shall be able to have them re-activated, even after Saturday, if someone goes to their service providers and applies for simcard replacement.
The registration has not been easy. There remain claims that while some people registered their simcards, the systems did not approve the registration. Dr Jean-Philippe Favreau, the utl chief commercial officer, acknowledges this problem but says such cases are minor.
"We have an emergency team that responds immediately if someone raises such a case," he said.