Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Ezra Chiloba, on Sunday, maintained that SIM card registration will not be extended.
According to the Authority, April 15th is the last day for subscribers of different mobile phone networks to validate the registration of their SIM Cards, a fine of up to Ksh 300,000 or a six-month jail term for non-compliance.
Speaking to the media during a press conference, Chiloba stated that the exercise is aimed at curbing breaches of the law governing Sim Card registration and allowing telecommunications operators to update their records of subscribers.
This follows concerns by a section of Kenyans who had to accuse the government agency of failing to justify the need to register already listed Sim Cards.
CA Director further dismissed claims that it is a fresh registration.
“It cannot be fresh since all sim cards will stand null and void. We have agreed that this is not a re-registration or fresh registration exercise,” said Mr. Chiloba.
According to the Commission’s Director-General, an inspection by the commission done in March 2021 revealed that SIM cards are given for free, using mostly fictitious identity card numbers therefore not resulting in registration but the sale of the line.
Chiloba said this was aiding criminal activities like financial fraud and related crimes that prevail in situations of compromised SIM card registration process.
Meanwhile, Kenyans have moved on social media to question the timing of the exercise which is so close to the August 9th election, but the CA boss said it is purely a coincidence that the directive is being undertaken just months before the elections.
The mobile service providers said they are cooperating with their clients to ensure that there is full compliance.
Safaricom announced that they are 65 percent compliant with Airtel at 52 percent so far.
Telkom has not yet confirmed its compliance rate.
The move has also raised several legal questions with a petitioner moving to court to challenge the exercise terming it unconstitutional.
This even as Garissa Township Member of Parliament Aden Duale claims that the move is a plot to interfere with internet connection in the country during the upcoming general elections.
Chiloba was quick to warn against politicizing the process which he insists is meant to ensure customer protection.
In the last few days, telecommunication companies have experienced long queues at their outlets countrywide as Kenyans rush to beat the deadline for registering their Sim Cards.