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Mobile Phone Company CEOs warned over unregistered Sim-cards

30 July 2014, 20:45 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i has warned CEOs of mobile phone services against activating unregistered Sim-cards which he said they risk imprisonment.

Matiang’i said the CEOs should adhere to the government’s directive of ensuring that mobile phone users’ sim-cards are registered before activation to help the government in combating the rising cases of insecurity where criminals use unregistered lines to commit crime.

“If the communication operator doesn’t ensure registration of sim-cards before activation, then the CEO should be jailed,” said Matiang’i.

He asserted that social media meant to discuss development-oriented issues and unite people has been grossly abused by Kenyans who in turn use it to propagate ethnic divisions to polarize the country.

“Citizens gross abuse of social media is phenomenon and they should observe morality not negative ethnicity and hatred in social media interactions,” said Matiang’i.

“No one should blame or regret for being born in a certain tribe and originating from a certain region. I wonder how one disagrees with a certain leader then abuses the whole community for falling apart with one person,” he added.

The ICT CS also said county government should stop compelling his ministry to provide them with broadcasting rights to set up their own stations and held that the procedure should be duly followed as provided in the constitution, and Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) license issuance regulations.  

“Counties should know that we will not rush into providing them with their requested broadcasting licenses without following the laid down procedures lest it comes to hurt the nation. We need to consult with the Parliament and other key communication regulators before providing the licenses to the counties,” stated Matiang’i.

He added that with the inauguration of the newly appointed Board of Directors for the reformed Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK), his ministry intends to achieve beyond the current 17% broadband services access in the country.

He challenged the CAK directors curb the issue of cybercrime especially hacking of both government and people’s accounts to ensure social media is safe for use.

On expanding ICT infrastructure in counties, Matiang’i warned the governors against putting restrictive levies on accessing the services which in turn limits expansion of the broadband in counties.

The Chairman, Senate Committee for Energy, Information and Communication, Mutahi Kagwe called on the CAK directors to ensure equity in transmission of ICT services across the entire country to enhance communication.

“Marginalized areas should be covered with communication network to avoid cases of users having to climb trees to make emergency calls or communicate. We would like to hear that people in Kajiado access network for communication effectively,” said Kagwe.

The CAK Director-General, Francis Wangusi said the Authority will keenly monitor the all broadcast content of local stations to ensure they don’t give much time in airing foreign content at the expense of local content.

“The CAK will independently ensure broadcast content and media standards are set and regulated. I call upon all broadcast programmers to set up a body to collaboratively work with CAK on promoting local content,” said Wangusi.

The Communication sector officers were speaking during the inauguration of Board of Directors of the CAK to be chaired by Ngene Gituku,and the Universal Service Advisory Council (USAC) to be headed by Catherine Ngahu.


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