The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology would like to inform the general public that the suspension of the implementation of the sim card registration which was imposed on 13th February 2018 has been lifted with immediate effect.
After consultations with relevant stakeholders, including the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), the Ministry is satisfied that appropriate measures have been taken to address the concerns that the general public expressed directly and through their Members of Parliament.
The measures include:
MACRA has been advised to extend the registration period beyond deadline of March 31, 2018 which was earlier communicated. The new deadline will be communicated to the public in due course.
The Mobile Phone Service providers have undertaken to make the registration exercise convenient to the public by, among other things:
Widely informing the public about the places and times where the registration is taking place
Recruiting appropriate numbers of agents and buy handsets for them to facilitate the registration exercise even in far removed areas
Allowing the physically challenged, including the elderly, who cannot register by themselves to do so through the particulars of their next of kin or a proven third party.
Allowing people who have not received their National Identity Cards to use for identification Voter Registration cards, passports and drivers licences for a period not exceeding 31st December 2018.
A robust awareness campaign will continue to be undertaken in order to assist in ensuring a smooth registration exercise.
The public may wish to be reminded that in July 2016, the National Assembly passed Bill No. 24 of 2015: Communications which put in place a new Communications Act, thereby effectively replacing the Communications Act of 1998.
The enactment of the new Communications Act arose from the need to have in place a piece of legislation which would respond to vast changes, upgrades and developments in the Communications Sector which had since rendered the old Communications Act irrelevant.
Among other things, the new Communications Act creates the need for registration of generic numbers and sim cards. This is provided for in section 92 of the Act as follows:
“A person who uses a generic number or owns or intends to use a SIM card for voice telephony services shall register that generic number or SIM card with any electronic communications licensee or with the distributor, agent or dealer of the electronic communications licensee, authorized to provide or sell generic numbers or SIM cards.”
The public is hereby encouraged to comply with this requirement of the law.
Nicholas Harry Dausi
MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND
28th February 2018