Malawi impose K5m penalty if found using unregistered SIM card from Oct. 1

The deadline for the registration of mobile phone SIM card is September 30 and those not registered shall be deactivated by the service provider but if anyone shall be discovered to be using unregistered SIM card is liable to a fine of MK1 million or if in default face five years in jail.

Commitee addressing a news conference

This was disclosed on Tuesday,  September 18 by the Parliamentary Legal Affairs committee (headed by MP Maxwell Thyolela) in conjunction with the Media & ICT committee (headed by MP Sam Kawale) during a joint press conference held at Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) offices at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre.
“This is in fulfilment of the legal requirement as stipulated in the Communications Act No. 34 of 2016,” Thyolela said.
“Section 92 of the Act requires that any person who uses or owns or intends to use a SIM card or generic number for voice telephony services must have the SIM card or generic number registered by a phone company or with an authorized distributor, agent or dealer of the phone company.
“Section 94 of the Act makes it an offence for any person to use an unregistered SIM card or generic number. The punishment for this offence is K5 million and imprisonment for 5 years. It is therefore very important that every subscriber must register his number or SIM card to be on the right side of the law.
“We urge all Malawians with a SIM card to register before the deadline [of September 30] in order to avoid disconnection and further to avoid committing an offence under the Act. MACRA is just implementing its mandate and we expect all phone operators and every subscriber to comply with the law.
“As a Committee we strongly urge MACRA to punish operators that will fail to comply with the deactivation deadline of 1st October.”
Thyolela added that from last week MACRA learnt about the failed registration by some Airtel customers who had gone through the process already and urge Airtel to work on their system so that people should not be repeating the process.
“SIM card registration is an international practice which is aimed at protecting phone users from cyber criminals who use unregistered SIM cards to trick and swindle people. Those that have travelled outside Malawi can attest to this because it is mandatory in most countries for one to register a SIM card upon acquisition.
“With unregistered SIM cards, intimidators find it easy to bully their victims, issue death threats because they know they will destroy the SIM card and never be traced thereafter. This is happening in Malawi and the police have a number of reported cases on this matter,” he said.
On his part, Kawale said from October 1, new subscribers shall be asked to register first with the operators so that the SIM card is linked first with the owner before it is handed out.
“We are aware that some people have not registered despite awareness by MACRA as well as the operators themselves. For one to register, they are asked to produce one of the following identity documents: national identity card, driver’s licence, passport, refugee identity card, asylum seeker identity card and voter registration card.
 
“Operators have also provided codes for customers to verify registration. Airtel customers are advised to dial *122# while those for TNM should dial *277#.
There is no need for people to fear anything because this is a normal exercise that is aimed at protecting phone users. We as members of parliament found it necessary to pass it into law considering the criminal activities that were on the rise on the market,” Kawale said.
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Nos Jondi
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Nos Jondi

These are examples of decisions made by people with poor reasoning skills. In short and simple terms, people seriously challenged at an intellectual level

Kyala
Guest
Kyala

What is the take on visitors or Malawians in diaspora visiting the country? What do they have to do?

gulukunyinda
Guest
gulukunyinda

useless conference osangoti munapeza pokatulutsila ma allowance bwanji?

Chemjambe
Guest
Chemjambe

How can someone use a deactivated sim ? kodi mumakhala mwaledzera ku ma meetings anuwo eti ?
If someone is able to use a sim after deactivation then whose problem is that ? i thought thats operators’ problem, so why should a user get fined for someone’s mistake?
Headless chickens in these positions indeed

Jah Love
Guest
Jah Love

So interesting, where will one buy these sim cards? what mechanisms are put in place for those who sell sim cards but are not able to registers customers. A country full of mediocrity. Sim Card Registration, Voter Registration, NSO Population Census, NRB National Identity.

Timvê ziti
Guest
Timvê ziti

This is so one sided. No one is given any documentation when you register a sim card. So how does one prove to the arresting authorities that your card is registered. We are completely at their mercy. We could be arrested and fined over and over again. Our freedom is being handed over to the service providers. We have no evidence to defend ourselves with. Unreal! !

CHAWO NCHAKE
Guest
CHAWO NCHAKE

Oooo noooo sim deactivation is enough how can one use already deactivated simcard does this make sense ? we count on you honourables but on this one you have goofed & thought ant clockwise

Chilungamo
Guest
Chilungamo

Those supposed in JAIL& HEL are the Malawian today’s Al CAPONES, ie those found with illegal stacks and stacks of illicit moneys in bedrooms, those forging official government documents like like letter-heads, those who have defrauded a once thriving bank of the poor MSB in billions and later sell it to themselves and still demand compensation from the same government, those who get K145 million taxpayer’s money through crooked Indians, NOT SIM cards.
Please DPP AL CAPONES SPARE Malawians of this joke. You belong not only to JAIL but HELL too.
SHAME!!!

DPP
Guest
DPP

Koma DPP ndi kuba ago ndithu . Ndithu ma allowance kumakakambilana Yolanda mzeru ngati izi. Blue night mwapanga, ku Escom mukubabe, Macra, Admarc water board, ziphuphu mwalandila sizinakwanebe mpaka muwabele anthu ovutika. Sichinatu. Basi spying. Why are u scared. Who do you want to be spying.

Museveni style.Ndiangati mwalandila 5 mita. Cholinga mumange anthu.

Ufulu wathu . Malawi dzuka. DPP out!! Chisoni choipa ichi. Kuba .

JJ Kabo
Guest
JJ Kabo

This is ridiculous! STOP fooling people that this is common practice when it’s not. I live in the diaspora and there are sim cards sold legally in local stores where you can just buy and put it in your phone and start using without registering it. All you need is to put airtime on it and you are good to go. STOP fooling Malawians with your nonsense.

Ferry
Guest
Ferry

Mozambique yomweyi kuinyadilira choncho

Chemjambe
Guest
Chemjambe

hahahahaha koma guys….ndiye mwati Mozambique eti kkkkk

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