Tanzania: Crossed Fingers As SIM Registration Dilemma Continues

AS the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) now embarks on shutting down some unregistered SIM cards, many people in Kagera Region are still in dilemma because they have not been provided with identification cards by the National Identification Authority (NIDA).

The deadline for the biometric registration of SIMCard reached its climax on December 31, 2019, but President John Magufuli extended the exercise for 20 more days until January 20, this year.

Reports from Karagwe, Ngara, Muleba, Biharamulo, Kyerwa and Missenyi districts said a big number of people waited anxiously until midnight yesterday, expecting their SIM cards to be locked by the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

Ms Claudia Kokuberwa (36), from Muleba District's Muhutwe village lamented that she was a victim of circumstances because NIDA has failed to provide her with an identification number to enable her register her number.

Reports said many people, especially those on border villages, had not received NIDA identity numbers.

Kagera Region shares borders with three neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.

Tanzania plans to limit the number of mobile phone numbers an individual can own to a single line per network, in its bid to boost security and tame cybercrime.

The exercise involves a fresh bio-metric registration of all SIM card holders from May 1 to September 30, but later extended to December 31, 2019.

Subscribers have to present their national identification card or its number for registration.

TCRA Acting Public Relations Manager, Mr Semu Mwakyanjala revealed that about 26,170,137 Sim Cards (about 53.8 per cent) have been registered biometrically.

Engineer Emmanuel Zabron from Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA-Lake Zone) explained that the current system is not secure enough and lacks important subscriber details that are vital for the national identity card registration initiated two years ago.

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