Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) Member of Parliament, Maximalliant Katjimune, has called on the Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Peya Mushelenga, to extend the registration of SIM cards, citing a lack of awareness.
Katjimune made the call in the National Assembly on Tuesday, following the announcement by the ministry’s Executive Director, Audrin Mathe, last week that there will not be a further extension for the registration of SIM cards beyond the date of 31 December 2023, and that members of the public who fail to register their SIM cards will be disconnected.
Mathe also revealed that as of 15 June 2023, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) recorded only 795 991 out of 2 760 804 subscribers who have registered their SIM cards. Despite the low public response, Mathe reiterated that no further extensions will be made.
Responding to this development, Katjimune said; “It is incomprehensible that the ministry plans to disconnect hundreds of thousands of people’s SIM cards and render them unable to communicate and without access to information. This is even more egregious because of the fact that there has not been enough dissemination of information to the mass citizenry about the SIM card registration process. The only logical conclusion is that the ministry must extend the deadline for the registration of SIM cards beyond 31 December 2023.”
He further asked whether the ministry investigated the cause of the hesitation from citizens to comply with the SIM card registration.
“How has the Ministry attempted to assure citizens of the process? What collaborative efforts has the ministry engaged in with mobile service providers, such as MTC, to activate a constituency-by-constituency registration approach, in an attempt to avoid cumbersome travels and prolonged waiting periods for citizens, especially in the rural areas?” Katjimune questioned.
Source: The Namibia Press Agency