What you need to know:
The exercise, which commenced on Friday last week, will go on upto March I 2013
Phone theft and other related crimes are likely to reduce if Ugandans take the current SIM card registration exercise seriously, the Uganda communications Commission has said.
Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC executive director, said during the launch of the exercise in Kampala on Monday that the exercise will ease retrieval of receivers in case of theft and help to as well curb related crimes committed using mobile phones.
“When you register your SIM card, all your details are taken down. So if a different card is inserted in the phone, it can easily be tracked.” he said.
In the past, it has been difficult to retrieve a stolen receiver from an unregistered mobile phone and SIM card.
The registration exercise if seriously taken on by the over 16 million mobile phone subscribers, will also help in the fight against cybercrime; including fraudsters, terrorists and hackers.
Mr Muruli Mukasa, the minister of Security, said the registration exercise will ease the tracking of criminals who have been abusing the loopholes in the telecom sector.
“In countries where SIM card registration has been taken seriously, a drop in crime especially cybercrime has been registered. We want to emulate this and see to it that such unlawful acts are done away with,” he said.
He said Africa has been noted as one of the fastest growing continents as far as mobile phone usage is concerned; a move that comes with some advantages and disadvantages.
Increase in cybercrimes is one of the outstanding problems that arise from the growing mobile-phone usage.
He said the information provided during SIM card registration would be used to track down any form of misuse.
Mr Mukasa assured Ugandans that the information provided will only be used for security purposes and will be confidentially kept as stipulated in the regulation of interception of communications Act 2010.
Uganda takes on the exercise after it was implemented in other countries including; Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa and Mauritius.
Utility: Joining the race. Uganda will join other countries in East Africa including; Kenya and Tanzania that have already taken on the registration of SIM cards.