Kenyans are scrambling to register their SIM cards before the deadline of April 15.
Long queues have been witnessed across various registration centres across the country before the deadline lapses in nine days.
The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has warned Kenyans that if their SIM cards are not registered by the end of April, they will lose their lines and telecoms services will be halted.
According to CA’s Telecom Compliance, Licensing and Standards Director Julius Lenaseiyan, the agency is enforcing the rules after a large number of unregistered SIM cards were sold to people in the country by unlicensed operators and agents.
Records from the CA show that the majority of unregistered cards have been discovered among the elderly who purchased their mobile phones before to 2015, when the rule was ineffectual.
“The SIM card regulations 2015 now stipulates that the Mobile operators namely Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom should re-register their subscribers by updating their details with a digital passport size photo of the customers.
CA has urged mobile network operators to speed up the exercise as no more time will be added.
”This has been an ongoing process over the last few years, the planned switch-off follows an audit that has unearthed loopholes in adherence to SIM card registration laws by mobile network operators,” the authority said.
The new restrictions are also designed to reduce fraudulent SIM card use and keep subscriber information databases up to date.
Telecommunications companies have been asked to thoroughly verify identifying documents given by users with the Integrated Population Registration System during the registration process (IPRS).