The Communications Authority (CA) has imposed financial penalties on Kenyans who fail to register their SIM cards with telecommunications service providers by April 15.
Defending the decision to impose fines on users who did not register their SIM cards, CA CEO Ezra Chiloba argued that the registration was aimed at combating cybercrime and fraud in the digital environment.
At a later stage, the authorities hold that the rules will be enforced and those with unregistered SIM cards will face a fine of up to Kshs 300,000 or imprisonment for six months or both.
“There will be no time to extend the time, so those who are still dragging their feet should wake up and register with their telecommunications service providers otherwise they will be completely shut down,” Chiloba said.
The former director general of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) continued to call on network operators to speed up the process of clearing data and shutting down unregistered SIM cards.
SIM cards that have been incorrectly registered will also be targeted in the cleaning exercise.
“We want before the end of April to have all networks cleaned up by turning off all unregistered and unregistered SIM cards from the networks,” Chiloba said.
Defending the request for new registrations, Chiloba noted that it would help to join other countries that have appropriate data systems and continue efforts to curb the growing number of online crime cases.
“This means that criminals and even terrorists can use unregistered SIM cards to hide their names and avoid being identified by the authorities,” he explained.
During the registration exercise, mobile users must submit their national IDs and photographs, which are taken during the exercise which takes less than five minutes.