Directive Issued on SIM Card Ownership And Registration

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    File image of a man using a phone
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  • Telco companies, Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom, have issued a joint advisory to their customers on the registration and ownership of SIM cards. 

    In the notice shared on Friday, August 20, the three firms urged customers to ensure that their SIM cards are correctly registered against their valid identification documents. 

    This is in line with the Kenya Information Communications Act and the SIM Card Registration Regulations (2015).

    "This exercise is to ensure that all customer mobile numbers are properly registered against the correct identification details provided by the owners of the SIM cards," read the advisory in part. 

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    A 2018 image of Kenyan youth perusing a phone.
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    "Please note it is illegal to have a SIM card that is not registered with the correct documents," the Telcos cautioned. 

    How to check and register SIM cards

    "In line with the relevant law and regulations, please note that to register a line you are required to go to an Airtel, Safaricom or Telkom outlet with your original identification document," the telcos advised. 

    The SIM Card Registration Regulations (2015) further directs that a guardian accompanying a minor for purposes of registering a minor's SIM card shall be registered as the subscriber of that particular SIM card until the minor attains the age of majority.

    Upon the minor attaining the age of majority, a telecommunications operator shall advise them to register as a user with updated personal identification details within a period of 90 days on the attainment of the age of majority.

    The Act further states that the telco operator shall inform the minor that his or her telecommunications services shall be suspended if he or she fails to comply with these regulations.

    "Where within 90 days a person fails to register identification particulars the SIM card shall be suspended and deactivated," reads the Act in part. 

    More Penalties 

    The SIM Card Registration Regulations (2015), dictates that a person who commits an offence under these regulations for which no specific penalty has been provided in the Act shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh300,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.

    The directive comes at a time when there have escalating cases of digital and electronic fraud in Kenya. 

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    A person using a mobile phone.
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