By Azania Post Reporter
The government of Malawi has suspended SIM card registration until when mobile phone operators conduct civic education in rural areas countrywide, Malawi media has reported.
Minister of Information and Civic Education Nicholas Dausi told the Malawi National Assembly Tuesday that mobile phone service providers should first conduct civic education campaigns on the SIM card registration across the country, especially in rural areas, before the exercise could resume.
According to Malawi24 the directive comes a day after Dausi made a ministerial statement on the registration exercise in Parliament.
Reports said some of the lawmakers doubted the registration exercise saying they might infringe people’s privacy.
When announcing the suspension today, the minister noted that there have been suspicions from the public over the SIM card registration exercise.
According to Dausi, the suspension follows what he called public concerns on the exercise. He further said that until such a time when enough civic education is done, the exercise has been suspended.
Some of the concerns from the public has been on suspicion that the on-going SIM card registration is a ploy by government to tap people’s phones.
He said the suspension will only be lifted after satisfactory civic education has been conducted.
Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) last month told mobile phone subscribers to register their SIM cards saying the Communications Act of 2016 gives the regulatory body the powers to enforce mandatory registration of SIM cards and generic numbers.