MACRA clears mist over mobile sim card registration

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has assured people that their right to privacy remains a priority despite the mobile phone sim-card registration initiative.

MACRA’s Consumer Affairs Manager, Ivy Chipezayani, emphasized this during the sim-card registration sensitization campaign in Machinga.

She said: “The communications body has no mandate to connive with any mobile service provider to intervene with privacy of any person.”

She added that MACRA has a duty to protect consumers who get services from the mobile providers and the regulatory body is prohibited by the law to access any private information unless there is a court order.

“Service providers have confidentiality obligation and there is no way people’s personal data can be diverged,” she said.

In his remarks, one of the mobile service providers present at the function, Airtel Malawi, through its District Service Manager, Diverson Paul, said despite a recent temporary interruption of the exercise by the government but the exercise is progressing well and they are satisfied with the response from the people.

“When the government announced the temporary suspension of the exercise, you can recall that the communication by the minister indicated that those who understood the process could still went ahead with the registration so even during the break our agents were still on the ground doing the job,” he said.

During the previous mid-year parliamentary budget review meeting, government through the information minister, Nicholus Dausi, announced the temporary suspension of the exercise after bowing down to the pressure from different quarters who cried foul over the inadequate civic education on the exercise.

The meeting also attracted secondary and primary school teachers, health workers, Civil Society Organizations among others.

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