Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Francis Wangusi has been forced to issue a statement following backlash of his remarks over Huduma Namba registration.
Wangisi was on Thursday quoted saying the government would switch off sim cards whose owners failed to register on National Integrated Management Systems (NIIMS), popularly known as Huduma Namba.
In an attempt to calm down criticism sparked by his words, the Director General has said he was misquoted out of context.
“We wish to clarify that the Director General has been quoted out of context. For the record Mr. Wangusi emphasized the importance of the Huduma Namba as a single source of the truth for the identity of citizens,” the statement read in part.
Speaking while in Kisumu, Wangusi said that defaulters may miss services such as use of their mobile phones, access to M-Pesa Service, Airtel Money, and ATM withdrawals.
“We are waiting for the 45 days to end. We will say, unless you have a Huduma Namba, you don’t have a SIM-card.
So prepare yourself. And when we say it that way, it could be a polite order but it’s an order that is enforceable, ” he said.
Chief of Staff and Head of the Presidential Delivery Unit Nzioka Waita rubbished the claims saying no sim card will be switched off, since registration of Huduma Namba was voluntary.
The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology also disowned the alleged plan to switch off sim cards.
His remarks went against an order by a three-judge bench – comprising Justices Weldon Korir, Pauline Nyamweya and Mumbi Ngugi – on April 1, 2019, barring the government from making the exercise mandatory.
Wangusi has now said “Huduma Namba may be considered for use in the registration of SIM-cards.”
“After adequate consultations with the relevant stakeholders and changes in the law, the Huduma Namba may be considered for use in the registration of SIM-cards,” the statement adds.
He affirmed that there are no plans by the authority to switch off sim cards for subscribers who will not have registered for Huduma Namba by the end of the 45 days set by the government.
The 45-day period by the government will elapse on May 18.