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Macra garners support for sim registration

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The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has engaged civil society organisations (CSOs) to provide civic education on the significance of sim card registration.

This comes a few weeks after Macra started to enforce some changes made to the Communications Act, which gives the authority power to enforce mandatory sim card registration of all mobile phone users.

Macra hosted a meeting in Mangochi recently to brief CSOs on the progress made so far and what role they can assume to make the exercise successful.

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Chairperson of the Civil and Human Rights Taskforce on sim card registration, Undule Mwakasungula, backed the registration, saying the exercise is likely to enable the government to monitor and verify the actual tele-density figures and active lines to ensure that tax revenues from mobile service providers correlates with the data they present.

He said the partnership is critical as it would help to deal with rising cases of fraud and cybercrimes.

“It is unfortunate that out of the 54 African countries, Malawi does not register sim cards, a development that has led to fraud and cybercrimes,” Mwakasungula said.

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He said the exercise is going to help even phone operators to have more information about their clients.

“It is wrong to say the exercise is politically-driven because most of these issues are in the 2016 Communications Act. We will be sensitising people on issues of human rights to do with cybercrime,” he said.

Macra Communications Officer, Clara Mwafulirwa, said the development is in accordance with the Communications Act of 2016 which outlines, among other things, the obligations of consumers and service providers concerning the registration of Sim cards.

“Any number that is not registered will automatically be barred from its network until registration is done,” she said.

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