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While in Kenya the government wants to direct the board of leading telecom company Safaricom into appointing a local to replace the outgoing CEO. Across the border, its neighbor the government of Tanzania wants telecoms to register subscribers only once.

A move, seen to curtail the act of finding one subscriber having multiple SIM cards for the same cell service carrier. Over the past decade or so, most countries in Africa have seen criminals registering multiple lines; both within the same network and various networks. They would then use one of the rarely used lines to conduct fraudulent transactions and then switch it off.

Such acts make it extra harder for the law enforcement authorities to track them down and apprehend them. It is based on that information that the government of Tanzania now wants to move in and issue a directive to telecoms to register one SIM card per subscriber. No individual should have more than one SIM card for the same network.

The government is backing that directive by conducting a fresh biometric registration of all SIM cards to their holders. The exercise will kick off from May 1st to September.

Semu Mwakyanjala, the acting Corporate Communication Manager at the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority said:

The information obtained from registered SIM cards will be directly linked to a subscriber’s national identification card ensuring there is no more misinformation or forgery of documents; no one can forge fingerprints.”

What if one must have multiple SIM cards?

If, for whatever reasons, you must have multiple numbers for the same network. The Communications Regulatory Authority wants you to apply in writing for consideration of your special case.

You might want to know, this move by Tanzania government mimics the same move Rwandan government did at the beginning of the year. The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority issued a directive that no single user should have more than three SIM cards.

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