Tanzania: SIM Card Listing Deadline Intact, Minister Stresses

THE government will maintain its position to switch off all sim-cards that would not have been registered biometrical come December 31, this year, the National Assembly heard on Thursday.

Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Eng. Isaac Kamwelwe announced that only 12.7million mobile subscribers had headed the government call out of the projected 44 million mobile phone users in the country.

"What we need is the national identification number, not ID. We expect every individual to update their information as required; Else we will switch off all unregistered sim cards," he said.

The minister's clarification followed concern raised by Zainabu Katimba (Special Seats-CCM) who said in Kigoma, many people had not been furnished with NIDA's national ID.

Tanzania launched biometric SIM registration nationwide on 1 May, in a bid to improve security in the country. Earlier MPs said communication signals in many villages remained a challenge.

Juma Othman Hija (Tumbatu- CCM) noted that the problem was extremely serious in Tumbatu.

Paul Isaay (Mbulu-Urban- CCM) said the government promised to erect at least four telecom towers in his constituency but since 2015 only one tower had benefited, leaving Silaloda, Nasei and Gunyoda without network signal.

"Kitanula village in Manyoni-west faced the same problem," Yahaya Masale (Manyoni-West -CCM) added.

Atashasta Nditiye, Deputy Minister for Communication said Works, said a large scale program to build telecom towers was ongoing and majority villages will start benefiting from the program beginning December through February next year.

He said the project is to benefit over 1200 villages in 521 wards across the country.

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