Zambia’s Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications, Yamfwa Mukanga, has announced that the deadline for the nation’s mobile phone users to register their SIM cards has been pushed back. Despite the government having said last month that it would not extend the 31 December 2013 deadline, it has performed something of volte-face in the wake of a rush at SIM registration points by those yet to hand over their personal details. As such, in a press release published on the website of local telecoms regulator the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) it has been confirmed that mobile subscribers now have until 31 January 2014 to register their SIMs, though it was noted that this is ‘the final deadline and no further extension will be considered’. All unregistered SIM cards will be deactivated once the new cut-off date has passed.
In announcing the decision to extend the period for SIM registration, the statement by Mr Mukanga also revealed that as at 30 December 2013 a total of 6.8 million customers had handed over their data.