Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi has announced in Parliament that government had lifted the suspension on the registration of SIM cards and generic number and the exercise will continue.
The suspension had followed public concerns with the exercise, especially suspicions that the registration is a ploy by government to tap people’s phones which may impinge on their constitutional right to privacy.
Dausi said his ministry which held constultations with stakeholders was satisfied with how the concerns of the public have been addressed.
He said among other measures that needed to be addressed, Macra has complied with the extension of the deadline which would be announced in due course.
Dausi said the exercise will continue which potentially will see the snaking queues of enthusiastic law-abiding citizens return in TNM and Airtel Malawi outlets across the country.
Dausi said the registration of SIM cards is a lawful exercise initiated by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra), in line with the Communications Act (2016).
Dausi said the law gives powers to the network service providers through Macra to register all SIM cards and all subscribers’ numbers.
“That is what the law which was passed says,” he said.
Dausi, who is also government official spokesperson, the SIM card registration will continue.
According to Macra, the mandatory registration of SIM cards will help prevent crime and fraudulent cases that are on the rise as it will enable security enforcement agencies to trace perpetrators using information provided to network providers.