Telecom firm MTN has started fresh verification of its subscribers across the country, especially those with multiple numbers and others whose records require authentication.
In SMS messages sent out early this week, MTN called upon its subscribers to report in person to its offices with valid documents. Uganda nationals are being asked for National IDs while foreigners were being asked to carry their passports.
“Y’ello. You have more than one number registered under your NIN. Please visit any MTN Shop or Duuka with your National ID to confirm them,” the message reads.
Subscribers who visited MTN offices reported having thumbprints and photos taken while their National IDs were also scanned.
A source at MTN says that the directive to verify subscribers’ records had been issued by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) three weeks ago.
The source added that the directive requires that the verification is done within a month and that subscribers whose SIM cards record are not in sync with UCC’s requirements would be switched off.
Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC executive director, said the Commission directive to the telecom companies is for regular SIM card verification.
“That is an evaluation exercise which the telecom companies are required to carry out on regular basis. It is a mandatory requirement,” Mr Mutabazi said.
UCC spokesperson Ibrahim Bbosa confirmed the development adding that it had been given following the discovery of inconsistencies in records of subscribers. He however clarified that the directive was binding on all telecoms and not just MTN.
Bbosa said the move is one of the measures by Government to curtail upsurge criminality in the country. He said that the verification must be done before May 1 and that unverified SIM cards will be switched off.