Kenyans can own a maximum of 10 sim cards. This is according to new regulations set by the government in its attempts to curb fraud and misuse of sim cards.
The new regulations by the Ministry of ICT indicate that adult Kenyans will be required to provide identification documents such as ID Cards, birth certificates and passports when registering new SIM cards.
In the revised draft of the Kenya Information and Communications (Registration of Telecommunications Service Subscribers) Regulations, 2022, all subscribers will only be allowed to own not more than 10 sim cards.
In cases where parents or guardians are registering sim cards on behalf of minors, they will be required to provide both their identification documents and those of the child.
When a minor attains the legal age of 18 years, he/she will be mandated to regularize their registration details within a period of three months.
The government has reiterated that there will be penalties for subscribers and telecommunication companies that do not comply with the draft regulations.
Telecommunication companies have been granted authority to deactivate sim cards for subscribers if the applicant submits false information during the registration process.
At the same time, Telcos will be required to inform non-compliant subscribers before deactivating or suspending their accounts.
Kenyans have up to October 15, 2022, to have their details updated by the respective telecommunications companies.
Communications Authority of Kenya cautioned it will fine subscribers found disregarding the sim card registration directive when the new deadline lapses.
"It is the responsibility of the operators who will advise on whether to switch off the unregistered lines or probably give an extension and allow as many Kenyans as possible to register," CA’s Director General, Ezra Chiloba, stated.
"The requirement to update subscriber registration details is being done primarily to protect consumers of telecommunication services – who is you and me. Incidences of sim-boxing, financial fraud, kidnapping, terrorism, and related crimes prevail in situations of compromised sim card registration processes."
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