Kenya’s communications regulator the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has no powers to prosecute deviant mobile phone operators and unregistered SIM card holders as the new law warranting such actions is still at the Attorney General’s office awaiting clearance.
The regulations were supposed to have been published via a special gazette notice last Friday to make them law.
“As soon as the regulations are out, it will be possible for action to be taken against unregistered subscribers,” CCK’s consumer affairs director Mutua Muthusi said in a statement.
Muthusi noted that the regulations were forwarded to the AG’s office more than two weeks ago, ahead of the December 31, 3012 deadline.
The new regulations were implementation details on an amendment to the Kenya Information and Communications Act that required all mobile network operators to register their subscribers.
It is reported that the regulations will probably be published this week. The Ministry of Communications and Information along with the CCK had last week stated that mobile network operators found to have active unregistered SIM-cards on their networks will be fined KSh300,000 (US$3,570) for every card.
However, the new laws will only be effective 30 days after the gazette notice, implying that CCK will not be able to institute legal proceedings against the operators and subscribers up until late February this year.
This may come as a relief to the operators, who upon receiving the threat switched off over 1.2 million unregistered SIM-cards.
The operators now have more time to register subscribers who have been blocked from the networks and avert imminent loss of revenue.