All cellphone SIM cards will have to be registered in terms of legislation coming into effect in Zambia on Wednesday.
The Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Amendment Act (Rica) [pdf] aims to help law enforcement agencies investigate and combat serious crime, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said on Tuesday.
It would ensure that the identity and whereabouts of the owner of a SIM card who uses a cellphone in planning and executing a serious crime was known, he told a media briefing at Parliament.
Cellphone service providers would, from July 1, be prohibited from activating a new SIM card unless they had captured the customer’s cell number, full names, identity number and address, and verified the information.
In a joint statement later on Tuesday, MTN, Cell C and Vodacom said all cellphone subscribers, both prepaid and contract, would be required to show proof of identity as well as present a utility bill to show proof of residence to be registered.
Customers would have 18 months from implementation date to register both their prepaid and contract SIM cards.
SIM cards of subscribers failing to comply within the specified time period would have their cards deactivated.
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