By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has embarked on a cleaning up exercise where over 500, 000 million SIM Cards will be scrutinised with some risking deactivation in an effort to combat mobile money scams.
ZICTA has therefore sent out appropriate warning messages to subscribers with more than 10 SIM cards and those with non-compliant registration details while some services have so far been deactivated on certain cards.
ZICTA takes these mobile money scams very seriously as it is a hindrance to the digital economy, says acting Director General, Mwenya Mutale.
“We are trying to clean up more than half a million SIM cards which did not follow one of the directives of not having more than 10 sim cards registration.
“In fact, we are going to issue a further directive for you to justify why you are having more than 10 SIM cards so that we get to these mobile money scams. We are trying to curb these mobile money scams,” Eng. Mutale told the press in Lusaka yesterday.
ZICTA, he said, had partnered with law enforcement agencies to combat mobile money scams which had left many subscribers victims.
Eng Mutale said on January 21 2022, ZICTA announced a seven day ultimatum to all subscribers with non-compliant SIM Card registrations details to regularise their registrations before January 28, 2022.
He explained that during this period, appropriate warning messages were sent to subscribers with more than 10 SIM Cards and those with non-compliant registration details.
“In view of the above, all those SIM Cards that will not be compliant from February 7 , 2022 will have their outgoing calls services suspended – meaning they will not be able to make any outgoing calls but they will be able to receive calls.
“By February 14, 2022, non-compliant SIM Cards will have all their calling rights suspended – meaning subscribers will not be able to receive or make any call. Once this is done, subscribers have 14 days from commencement of service suspension to claim their deactivated SIM cards,” Eng Mutala said.
He stated that on February 21, 2022 all SIM Card related mobile services would be suspended, meaning subscribers would not be able to receive or make calls, and they would not be able to receive and send out text messages.
On March 7, 2022, he said, all unclaimed and generally non-complaint SIM Cards would be deactivated.
The deactivation will be done after 14 days from commencement of service suspension.
“After the deactivation period, all subscribers with deactivated numbers will be given a window of 90 days to claim their mobile numbers by visiting the nearest service centre with valid identity cards.
“Once the 90-days grace period is expired, all deactivated numbers will be made available for re-assignment to the general public,” Eng Mutale said.