Kenyan major integrated telecom company Safaricom has said it has switched off an additional 1.3 million unregistered SIM cards, bringing the total number of cards it disconnected to 2.5 million.
Safaricom’s move, which is in line with the directive from the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) that all unregistered SIM cards be switched off, is in a bid to ensure that mobile phone lines are not used for unlawful activities.
“We have made SIM card registration a priority for the business because of the positive impact it is expected to have in assisting law enforcement agencies in the task of curbing social vices like fraud, terrorism and election related hate messages,” Safaricom’s corporate affairs director Nzioka Waita said.
“We are conscious of the fact that the failure to comply with the law could make Kenyans more vulnerable to fraud and criminal activities from those who continue to use unregistered SIM cards, it is therefore imperative that the industry gives this initiative its collective support.”
There have been incidences of kidnapping and terrorism in Kenya where the perpetrators reportedly used mobile phones to communicate.
Data from the CCK indicates that, by January 11, Yu Mobile had the highest number of unregistered SIM cards, totalling nearly 2 million. Airtel came second with over 1.9 million unregistered cards while Orange came last with about 1.5 million.
According to CCK, mobile users who have had their SIM cards switched off have 90 days to register the lines before they can be reassigned to new users.