Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Mobile Phones Still in Bad Use

Dodoma — ARUSHA Urban MP Godbless Lema (Chadema) on Tuesday complained over what he described as haphazard registration of sim cards contrary to the Electronic and Postal Communication Act (EPOCA) of 2010.

"The exercise is being conducted chaotically and thus not serving the purpose of checking misuse of communication through mobile phones," the MP noted as he posed a supplementary question in the House.

In response, the Minister for Communication, Science and Technology Prof Makame Mbarawa said legal action including imprisonment and fines will be imposed against people found to be violating the legislation.

"Registration of sim cards is stipulated through EPOCA and any violating including registering the cards through false names will be dealt with," the Minister said.

Responding to a basic question by Mpanda Rural MP Moshi Kakoso (CCM) earlier, Prof Mbarawa said the government will through Universal Communication Access Fund (UCAF) extend communication services to rural areas in the country.

"The government has identified all areas with poor communication access and which are not attractive to investors in the sector since they are not commercially viable due to low numbers of people and rigid geographical features such as mountains, valleys and forests," he explained.

Prof Mbarawa said the identified areas will thus be extended with communication through the fund which aims at expanding the services to areas which are not attractive to investors.

The Minister cited Ikola village in the Mpanda Rural constituency which will benefit from the fund. Airtel Tanzania has won a USD 167,580 (about 261M/-) tender to expand communication in the village through UCAF.

He also urged MPs, district councils and citizens in general to work closely with mobile operators in the country to enable them effectively expand their services to the people.

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