Members of Parliament (MPs) in Tanzania have raised concerns over the registration of SIM cards across the country, saying it is being done contrary to the Electronic and Postal Communication Act (EPOCA) of 2010.
Godbless Lema, Urban MP for Arusha, raised the issue in parliament on Tuesday saying the SIM cards were being registered without the due process stipulated through EPOCA.
Lema said: “The exercise is being conducted chaotically and thus not serving the purpose of checking misuse of communication through mobile phones,” the Daily News reports.
Makame Mbarawa, minister for communication science and technology, said anyone found to be violating the legislation will face legal action including imprisonment and fines.
“Registration of SIM cards is stipulated through EPOCA and those found violating the laws or registering cards using false names will be dealt with,” Mbarawa said.
Addressing another issue on the limited access of communication services in the rural areas, Mbarawa said the government of Tanzania through the Universal Communication Access Fund (UCAF) has plans underway to extend services.
“The government has identified all areas with poor communication access and which are not attractive to investors in the sector since they are not commercially viable due to low numbers of people and rigid geographic features.”
Mbarawa said through the fund, the identified areas will thus be provided with the services.
Airtel Tanzania has already been awarded with a US$167,580 tender to expand communication in a local village in the country’s Mpanda Rural constituency.
Mbarawa told MPs, citizens and district councils to work closely with mobile operators in the country to enable them to effectively expand their services to the people.
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