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Government dismisses fears on sim card registration

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Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Nicholas Dausi, has dispelled fears that the aim of the sim card registration exercise under way is to eavesdrop people’s conversations.

Dausi was, yesterday, making a ministerial statement in Parliament on progress of the exercise, which is expected to end on March 31.

The minister said the sim card registration exercise is in line with the Communications Act of 2016.

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“The registration of sim cards is not a ploy to eavesdrop people’s conversations. This is far from it. The government would like to see to it that the provision of the law that was passed by this House is enforced,” Dausi said.

He said other countries in the Southern African Development Community [region] have been registering sim cards for many years.

However, his statement did not convince Machinga East Member of Parliament (MP), Esther Jolobala, who asked Dausi to explain the link between sim card registration and Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management Systems (Cirms) machine, which she described as a “spy machine”.

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“We would like to assure honourable members that there shall never be an [ill] intention by the government,” Dausi said.

He encouraged the MPs to register their sim cards so that their constituents should be encouraged to do the same.

Kasungu North East MP, Elias Wakuda Kamanga, who faulted the government for doing little on civic education, also asked the minister to come out clear on the link between sim card registration and the ‘spy machine’.

It was at that stage that Dausi told the House that, “we don’t have a ‘spy machine’, we have Cirms”.

He told the House that civic education is key to promoting understanding of the same.

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