The Communications Authority (CA) has clarified that the directive to register mobile lines will only affect unregistered lines and not all users of the various network service providers as presumed before even as ongoing countrywide registration of SIM cards continued to cause uproar and confusion among Kenyans.
Many were seen queuing as they rushed to beat the April 15 deadline set by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).
Chiloba said Kenyans can confirm their registration details by dialling *106# without having to make visits to agents or other certified outlets.
“The major complaint we have had is the requirement of photos and everything. The regulations do not anticipate that we are going to take a photograph of you.
“And so if you are duly registered, then you do not need to go to your operator and service provider to get re-registered,” said Chiloba, at the Kuza Awards held at a Nairobi hotel yesterday.
Those who find that they have been registered have been advised to carry on with their usual business.
The regulator had urged mostly subscribers with SIM cards for more than 10 years to visit their providers to update their data.
It, however, indicated that most operators have recorded impressive compliance in the past four years.
Chiloba had already ordered all mobile network operators to speed up the data cleanup exercise, adding that no more time will be added.
The SIM registration exercise has seen a section of Kenyans raise concerns about its necessity considering that they provided the necessary information while registering their SIM cards for the first time.
A petition had already been filed seeking to block the exercise whose deadline has been slated for April 15.
“We must ensure each subscriber is duly registered. We have about 65 million SIM cards active in Kenya. It means each person born in Kenya has a number attached to them. But we know the fact is most people have more than one SIM card,” Mr Chiloba said.
“Looking at the situation across the currently, the compliance levels on SIM card registration are not looking good. How do we know that you are duly registered? By dialing *106# you can know which numbers are registered in your name.”
“Why are some service providers using the old ways of doing things? Provide us with links to update our SIM cards wherever we are. No time to come lining in your shops,” Mr Felix Tyson posed on twitter.
For some, the process had also become cumbersome and tiring, with some of those who had turned up to register within the central business district narrating their frustrations at queueing for long hours.
“I want to re-register my number because I don’t have the money to pay for the fine. It is better to do it now rather than incur unnecessary costs,” said Ms Charity Wangeci, as she waited to be served.
Safaricom, Airtel and even Telkom had in their communications to their customers asked them to turn up and register their SIM cards or risk being switched off after next week, a move they linked to a directive issued by CA.
Safaricom advised all its subscribers, including those using previously registered SIM cards, to re-register, insisting that while all SIM cards are registered on purchase, sometimes not all data was captured.
“This issue tends to affect some of the older customers on our networks. It is for this reason that the Communications Authority has asked us to invite all customers to submit their details as soon as possible,” Safaricom said in a statement, adding that it had committed to doing its best to ensure all its customers comply with the directive before the deadline.