When the Minister of Information Technology and Communications Frank Tumwebaze said that unregistered and/or unverified SimCards would be switched off, some Ugandans thought it was another attempt to prompt Ugandans to rush and have their SimCards verified or registered.
Mr Tumwebaze was right but equally wrong since many telecom users have taken to online platforms to express their anger after they woke up and couldn’t make or receive calls.
It is even interesting that some subscribers that did not bother to have their SimCards verified have been bragging that theirs were spared.
Parliament had passed a resolution pushing for an extension of the deadline for verification of SimCards until 2018 on grounds that people would lose their money if the cards are switched off although this was overlooked.
Again, government had earlier extended a one-week deadline issued by UCC in April until May 19, 2017.
Every phone user was supposed to use their National Identity Card to verify their SimCards something the President even tweeted about as a step in combatting crime.
Police has in the past said unregistered or unverified SimCards frustrate their efforts in pursuing criminals who coordinate their criminal plans by telephone.
This development that has resulted in the switch off of some registered/verified SimCards and leaving those unverified follows the killing of Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi who was gunned down together with his bodyguard and driver just a few meters away from his Kulambiro home.