Communications Authority of Kenya issues Strict Directive regarding Sim Registration

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In 2013, the Kenyan government issued a directive to all Telcos requiring that they register all SIM cards used in Kenya. The directive followed the enactment of the Kenya Information and Communication Act, to register and store the details of all their mobile subscribers. The four telcos at the time took to the registration of the SIM cards and the same has continued whenever a subscriber buys a new SIM card.

In 2015, the Communications Authority of Kenya came up with a new directive that required all telcos in Kenya to deactivate any unregistered sim Cards within their networks.  The move followed a meeting of regulators in East African states who sought to establish a legal and technical framework for harmonising SIM card registration in the region. The nations saw the framework as a move to fight criminal activities such as fraud, terrorism and money laundering. The new set of regulations will require the telcos to send notices to subscribers whose Sim cards are not registered telling them of their intent to block the sim cards. They also define the legal technicalities involved in SIM card deactivation that state unregistered SIM cards. The deactivation will also affect sim cards registered with false information.  In Kenya, failing to comply with the law regarding the registration of Sim cards is punishable by law with fines of up to 5 million.

The new set of regulations required telcos to send notices to subscribers whose Sim cards were not registered telling them of their intent to block the sim cards. They also defined the legal technicalities involved in SIM card deactivation for unregistered SIM cards. The deactivation also affected sim cards registered with false information.  In Kenya, failing to comply with the law regarding the registration of Sim cards is punishable by law with fines of up to 5 million.

In a notice in local papers, the Communications Authority of Kenya has issued new directives with regards to sim registration stating that members of the public should not use unregistered sim cards. They also state that they should not purchase sim cards from hawkers and if the event that they purchase a sim card, they have to demand that the sim card be registered with their particulars including the ID card. Members of the general public are further asked to ensure they report their lost sim cards to the police and obtain an abstract for the same. The authority further states that failure to comply with these rules would lead to a six month jail term or a fine of Kshs. 100,000.

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