MALAWI: COMMUNICATION/MBC/14/2/18 SABANews 1
BLANTYRE – The government of MALAWI has suspended the registration of Subscriber Identity Module, SIM cards amid allegations of anomalies in the exercise.
ZNBC News says Information and Communications Technology Minister NICHOLAS DAUSI has announced the decision in the National Assembly.
He says the government has made the move after noting there are indeed issues that need rectification before the implementation.
The national broadcaster says the development follows concerns from some Members of Parliament after the Minister gave a ministerial statement in the House on MONDAY.
It says MANGOCHI SOUTH MP LILLIAN PATEL has commended the State for listening to the concerns of lawmakers and the nation at large, because people need to be fully aware of the process before it starts.
Earlier media reports say the MALAWI Communications Regulatory Authority this MONDAY ordered all mobile phone users in the country to register their SIM cards.
It warned mobile phone users in the country would not be able to use unregistered SIM cards starting from APRIL this year, before the current order to halt the registration.
Meanwhile, ONE online publication says the suspension of registration comes after concerns over alleged State spying and long queues in verification.
It quotes Minister DAUSI as saying long queues had been witnessed at service providers, as hundreds of people trooped out to register their SIM cards to beat the deadline.
He says the authorities understand the need to register SIM cards is a legal matter, but they are a listening government that respects the people to ensure smooth implementation of the law.
The MALAWI Communications Regulatory Authority says the mandatory registration of SIM cards and generic numbers will help prevent criminal cases encountered in the absence of such a provision./Sabanews/cam