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Governance Zambia Zambia’s SIM card registration hits a snag

Zambia’s SIM card registration hits a snag

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Zambia’s SIM card registration exercise has hit a snag with only a few subscribers having registered their cards.

The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), the country’s telecom sector regulator has complained about the apathy in the SIM card registration exercise for all the three mobile phone companies, MTN Zambia, Airtel Zambia and Zamtel.

A visit to most registration centres dotted across the capital Lusaka by ITWeb Africa showed little sign of people registering their SIM cards, and only a handful were seen registering.

From the time the exercise began in August this year, only 300, 000 out of the total of 8 million subscribers in the country have so far registered their SIM cards, according to ZICTA.

ZICTA director for technology and engineering Patrick Mutimushi however, blames politicians for the apathy in the registration of SIM cards.

Mutimushi said politicians have been claiming that the details provided in the registration process would be used by the Zambian government to track down and capture political enemies and people making divergent political views on the phone.

“There are other factors that are slowing the SIM card registration exercise such as some political statements made by politicians that the exercise was a gimmick by the government to get to its opponents,” he said.

Speaking at a SIM card corporate clients meeting in Lusaka, Mutimushi said ZICTA had embarked on a sensitisation programme to educate subscribers and encourage them to register before a deadline is set sometime in March 2013 depending on how many people would have registered.

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