AT least 69 per cent of citizens on Tanzania Mainland have already registered their SIM cards in the ongoing exercise that requires fingerprint identification.
Speaking at a media briefing session in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Eng. Atashasta Nditiye, said the exercise was going on well and that the response of mobile phone subscribers was good.
“I appreciate the readiness of majority Tanzanians who have turned in big numbers to register their SIM cards. I am also thankful to the National Identification Authority (NIDA) for easing the registration process,” said the deputy minister.
According to Eng. Nditiye, NIDA has enabled thousands of wananchi to get the identification numbers that enable them to register their SIM cards as they wait for their national ID cards to be processed.
In Zanzibar, Eng. Nditiye said the exercise had reached 92 per cent. The deputy minister added that whereas the government was aware of, and appreciated the importance of residence identity cards in Zanzibar, the authorities should give emphasis to the registration of SIM cards through the fingerprint system.
According to Eng. Nditiye, the registration of SIM cards was taking place in both the mainland and Zanzibar and that it was vital for wananchi in the two sides of the Union to undergo the process.
“We decided to use national IDs in the registration of SIM cards because not all Tanzanians have passports or voting IDs. The National IDs are provided free of charge, and so, every Tanzanian should have one for personal identification.
He said the registration exercise intends to ensure security among wananchi and the country at large. “Over 94 per cent of the Tanzania population is connected to mobile phones and we are therefore required to register through the fingerprint system to ensure security and quality services,” he said, adding: “The government does not like to see Tanzanians being abused or conned through mobile phones; by using this system, we will be able to apprehend whoever commits an offence by using one’s mobile phone,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has commended the general public for their positive response to the ongoing SIM card registration exercise.
However, the authority has warned that there were persons who were involved in the exercise without being authorized.
“ It has come to the attention of the Authority that there are persons involved with SIM registration without authorization from relevant mobile network operators, those who are involved in that exercise illegally will be punished in accordance with the law,” reads part of the statement released by the authority yesterday.
In accordance to Sections 92,97 of EPOCA and Regulations 9,10 and 11 of the Electronic and Postal Communications (Sim Card Registration) Regulations, 2018 any person is not allowed to sell, distribute or register a detachable SIM card or built-in SIM card mobile telephone without evidence of prior authorization of the respective mobile service provider.
Also any person who sells, distributes or registers SIM Cards must have an office with physical location for the registration; and any person who sells, distributes or registers detachable SIM card or built-in SIM card mobile telephone without an office with physical location and prior authorization of respective application service licensee commits an offence.