The ongoing SIM card validation is targeting subscribers who are not duly registered and has nothing to do with elections.
The Communications Authority Director-General Ezra Chiloba says anyone who will not comply will be switched off on April 15 as directed.
Chiloba said the exercise is targeting unregistered users and has urged mobile phone operators to standardize the process.
He said that anyone who confirms through *106# that their Identity Card is registered on their lines, does not need to register afresh.
“You do not need to physically present yourself at the operator’s customer service centers unless it is necessary,” he said adding that “the regulations do not require subscribers to submit photos of themselves during registration or verification exercise.”
Long queues continue to be witnessed across various parts of the country with Kenyans on a rush to beat the April 15, 2022 deadline so as to comply and have their lines fully registered.
Whereas the exercise has been marred by confusion and misinformation, Chiloba clarified that the exercise “is not re-registration or fresh registration exercise.”
“It is an opportunity for operators and their customers to validate respective details of registration. The exercise will address the documentation gaps that have become commonplace,” he said.
He noted that the legality of the exercise was anchored on the 2015 regulations that was passed and mandated the Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to validate the details of their subscribers.
“The requirement to update subscriber registration details is being done primarily to protect consumers of telecommunication services – who is you and me. Incidences of sim-boxing, financial fraud, kidnapping, terrorism and related crimes prevail in situations of compromised sim card registration processes,” he said.
Chief Executive Officers of the MNOs who were present during the meeting also reinforced CA’s directive insisting that they were only interested in capturing the ID photo of their subscribers.
Director of Risk Management at Safaricom Nicholas Mulila noted that full compliance will only be attained once “all necessary documentation is submitted.”
He defended the company’s move to take photos of their subscribers who had visited their customer stations noting that whereas it was not a requirement of CA, they were doing it so as “to protect the identities and resources of our customers”.
The CA has since banned the taking of photos of subscribers noting it’s not a requirement.
According to Mulila, Safaricom is already at 65 percent compliant.
Chief Executive Officer of Telkom Mugo Kibati and his Airtel counterpart on their part noted that they have only been taking photos of their subscribers’ identity cards.
Telkom and Airtel have since provided an online platform that allows their customers to upload their ID’s so as to attain full compliance through the USSD code of *106#.
Safaricom is in the process of embedding the same.