Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA)

Come July 10, 2013 all unregistered SIM Cards will be phased out the National Assembly has been told.

In her supplementary question Lolensia Bukwimba (Busanda-CCM) wanted to know what measures the government was taking against agents registering Sim Cards without identity cards of their customers and as a result customers used the loophole by registering fake names.

Responding to the question Deputy Minister of Communication, Science and Technology, (Bumbuli CCM) January Makamba, said the government had entrusted the responsibility of registering SIM Cards to telecommunication companies, however, some of them were unfaithful.

Makamba said further that because some agents were selling unregistered SIM Cards, some customers used the loophole by registering fake names and eventually using their unregistered Sim Cards to involve in crime.

However, the minister said when the National Identity Cards become in use, there will re-verify the cards used to register Sim Cards to contain people who cheat in the course of registration.

In another development, Makamba said it was acceptable to give ones mobile number to another person, but the problem will be for that person to misuse that number by uttering abusive language, theft or other forms of crime.

In her basic question Dr Getruda Rwakatare (Special Seats) wanted to know what measures the government was taking to put to task culprits who send abusive messages to people.

The government through the Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) had managed to register until now about 21,403,699 SIM Cards across the country, Makamba said.

However, he said despite the registration of Sim cards, some people continue misusing mobile phones, according to Makamba.

The government allows customers to use their mobiles 30 days without registration. Some agents reportedly sell SIM Cards without registering them, taking the loophole to use fake names.

In a week-long survey early this year The Guardian found that SIM card vendors and customers alike could sell and buy chips without necessarily registering them and play all sorts of unlawful acts, including using them for abusive purposes, theft and other forms of crime.

The Guardian also found that one can buy the chip and start using it before registration and in case they decide to register it, they still can use false names as presentation of identities is not obligatory.

The Guardian has also established that SIM card vendors can also furnish false information to the mobile phone operators -- false identity cards to have the customer registered.