Tanzania: 'Deactivated SIM Cards Can Be Recovered'

MOBILE phone subscribers can still recover their SIM card numbers after the expiry of the ongoing biometric registration exercise next Monday, but only if they register them.

With only three days to go before the deadline, a good number of people are yet to register their SIM cards due to various reasons including lack of National Identification Number (NIN).

According to a public notice issued by the Director General of Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) on Thursday to the 'Daily News', people whose SIM cards will be terminated from service on January 20, this year can proceed with intention of registration.

Such is intended for them to acquire their national identification number which can be used to recover their existing mobile phone numbers or obtain new ones.

"The exercise is continuous to all current SIM card owners who have not registered their chips biometrically," stated part of the notice.

On the other hand, new subscribers will be in a position to register their SIM cards by using the National Identification Authority (NIDA) cards and be verified biometrically.

For diplomats and their respective institutions, who have not completed the registration, they should continue with the application procedures given out to them, TCRA said.

Speaking to the 'Daily News', TCRA Acting Public Relations Manager, Mr Semu Mwakanjala called upon individuals who are yet to finalize the registration to continue with normal procedures to recover their SIM card numbers.

Mr Mwakanjala revealed that 26,170,137 SIM cards equivalent to 53.8 per cent have been registered biometrically.

It was recently revealed that the number of all SIM cards comprise of 47 million in the country accounting for 21.1 million people.

Speaking to journalists in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications Eng Isack Kamwelwe warned there will be no further deadline extension while tough measures against rising cybercrimes will be taken.

"As the deadline for the registration looms, there has been a mushrooming incident of cybercrime, on these remaining days let's all be on watch," he said.

In December, last year President John Magufuli extended the biometric SIM card registration deadline to the 20th of this month, stressing that beyond then, unregistered lines would be shut down.

Earlier, the government had set December 31, last year as the deadline for phone users to have biometrically registered their Sim cards.

President Magufuli decided to give additional time to those who failed to complete the process within the given time due to various reasons, mainly lack of national identification numbers or cards.

He cautioned that all Tanzanians should ensure they register their Sim cards biometrically because there would be no excuse after the deadline expires, thereby directing TCRA to switch off all unregistered lines thereafter.

He explained that biometric Sim cards registration was crucial for the country's safety and will help in the fight against criminal acts such as conning and theft.

He said despite efforts being undertaken by state organs, including arresting them, some have continued causing inconveniences and loss of properties to people, especially money

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