Airtel Malawi bars one million unregistered subscribers

Mobile phone operator, Airtel Malawi , says it has barred one million numbers of its unregistered subscribers.

 Kamoto:  Airtel is a law abiding entity

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) had threatened to punish the mobile phone network operator for alleged  non-compliance with the deadline for registration of subscriber identity module (SIM).

Macra on Wednesday accused the operator of defying lawful orders, violating the Communications Act and unfair business conduct.

But the company said it has  completed the barring process on Wednesday just on time to avert penalties from the government.

Airtel Malawi managing director Charles Kamoto said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that  the mobile phone operator  has always been and will remain a law-abiding company acting in accordance with the country’s laws.

“As a law abiding entity, Airtel has had discussions with Macra on the issue and remain committed to working with Macra and the government on this important initiative,” said Kamoto in the statement.

However, civil rights activist Rafiq Hajat and veteran journalist Dickson Kashoti said they had registered their phone numbers long ago and were surprised that the numbers had been barred.

Writing on the Facebook walls, Hajat and Kashoti said their effort to register again on Wednesday yielded nothing as the numbers remain barred.

Most customers had been rushing to Airtel agents to reregister their numbers after they were barred.

However,  spokesman for Airtel Norah Chavula said people should go to Airtel shops to have their numbers debarred.

Another mobile phone operator, TNM says it has registered 75 per cent of its customers and said it was extending the registration period to give a chance to those who have not registered do so.

But spokesperson for Macra, Clara Mulonya said TNM or any other mobile operator cannot extend the registration period.

Meanwhile, Macra deputy director for consumer affairs Thoko Chimbe  has said the regulator will still summon Airtel over the matter  because it treats the failure to deactivate accounts as non-compliance.


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3 years ago

By the way, does MBC comply with the regulations of its licence as a public broadcaster? If there is an organisation I hate in Malawi is MACRA.

Make Malawi Great
Make Malawi Great
3 years ago

loss of revenue loss of taxes for them thus why they didnt do it as fast until a license revoke threat fro the govt. Its a little cruel to the people a major of these numbers might be in rural areas. the registration after 30 would have been extend it to January 2018 for the 1 million if at all they are active users.

Ntumbuka Weni Weni-Wapachitimba

If MACRA insists on treating airtel as a non compliant company then they are not reasonable and that’s not the way we should be implementing the regulation as we need to consider the spirit and the letter of the law at the same time.

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