Zambian politician urges ZICTA to reconsider SIM card registration deadline

3 Jan 2014

Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda, president of Zambia’s Heritage Party, has called on the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) to suspend the ongoing registration of SIM cards until a number of issues are clarified. According to AllAfrica, General Miyanda has claimed that there is a risk that individual liberties could be sacrificed given the lack of clarity in the reason for registering SIM cards. In a statement regarding the matter, the politician said ‘As the deadline for the abrogation of some citizens’ liberties arrives, I urge the PF Government not to disable any of the cell-phone facilities as advertised by the ZICTA. I also call upon all citizens who value their inalienable rights to brace themselves in 2014 to participate in a crusade to restore those rights.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, last month Zambia’s minister of communications Yamfwa Mukanga reiterated that SIM cards which remained unregistered as at 31 December 2013 would be deactivated. With the country having begun a SIM registration programme back in July 2013, the following month saw the authorities set the date by which registrations must be completed, while also confirming that from 15 November anyone found to have bought, sold or activated a SIM card without valid identification documents would be liable for prosecution. Speaking on the plans to stick to the deadline, Mr Mukanga was cited as saying: ‘I wish to request all those that have not registered their SIM cards to do so promptly and avoid being inconvenienced, come 1 January 2014.’