Sim registration: Malawians worried over long queues

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People in the country have expressed concerns over the ongoing mandatory sim card registration claiming long queues are making it hard for people to register.

Last month, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) ordered people to go to offices of their mobile phone network providers to have their cards registered.

Mobile-Phone“In collaboration with all phone companies in Malawi, MACRA is therefore calling upon the general public to go to their respective phone service providers to have their numbers registered by 31st March, 2018,” reads part of MACRA statement.

However, according to people who spoke with this reporter in random interviews at some registration centres in Blantyre, the move seems to be good but the registration process is slow.

Martin Lufeyo, 54, who walked a 2 hour journey all the way from Binda village far west of the commercial city said the innovation seems to be a burden to people who are living in remote areas like him.

He said MACRA together with the services providers has not considered people in the village who have to walk long distances for their cards to be registered.

Bertha Mbewe, 30, who was on position 103 on a line at Blantyre TNM offices said there was supposed to be other means of registering claiming it would be hard for someone to leave one’s job and be on a queue for sim registration.

“This exercise is taking much of our time and you can imagine that I have failed to report to my work just to register my TNM card and you can see that there are many people in front of me on this line,” said Mbewe.

On his part, 24 year-old Kondwani Gowa who was at Limbe Airtel offices said in most registration centres there are only two or three officers hence long queues.

Some people called for other means of registering while others said the number of officers assisting customers should be increased.

There are also concerns that the exercise will be costly especially to Malawians from remote areas who might need transportation to and from registration centres.

MACRA said all unregistered SIM cards will be banned from 1 April, a development which has angered many Malawians who are saying the registration exercise needs at least 5 to 6 months considering the high number of people who use phones.

Communications Act of 2016 empowers Macra to enforce mandatory registration of SIM cards and generic numbers.

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29 Comments

  1. Behind all of what u a saying here, what u av to no is that everywhere, in this world, is only network peovider which do this job not the arm of government we talk of Zambia, Tanzania even in Mozambique u will witness me so mmmmmmmmm there is something big behind it my fellow Malawians

  2. Personally I think they should do online registration for those who can afford scanning reg documents and the like while manual should still go on for everyone who can’t manage.Deploy all Airtel money centres to conduct sim reg process to make sure that people are not missing their businesses/work/school etc because of the need to register sim cards

  3. Why do people have to go to the mobile company for sim registration?they(mobile companies)can’t be more advanced by opening a toll free line as to make it easy for customers to register their sims?koma abale pa Malawi eish!!

  4. Then let them ban or cut our lines. Ndiyenso bwino mwina ndalama zathu zisungikeko with the high tariffs these so called moblile companies charge. Iyaa. Cut mine i wont register it.

  5. But they have to think of someone staying in the village to organise transport money jst for sim registration, ngati akufuna alembe anthu oti apite mmalo ngati amene aja akagwire ntchito imeneyo i think zikhonza kuthandiza

  6. Long que’s yake it??? february tangomuyamba kumene uyu and March sitinati nkomwe ndinali pa game complex dzulo ku old town and kunalibe anthu ambili…kungoti a MALAWI tinazolowera kudandaula chili chonse SIM registration ndi yofunika ndi zitsilu zokha zomwe zingadane ndi SIM Reg..

    • Mwina kumeneko anthu ali ndi ma phone ndiwochepa ,if got a chance go pa Zuleka bulding in Limbe ,pali shop ya airtel ndi Tnm pakumakhala khwinbi la anthu

      • Ngati shop imodzi kwadzaza pitani ku shop ina zikutheka basi. Airtel is faster than tnm. Akapeleka id akupanga photocopy then akukupasa form ufile basi wathana nazo. But ubwino wa tnm ndioti kulembetsa pompopompo online. Angoonjezera ma agent basi. Musamale pamene mupeza anthu ambiri. Ena umbava basa amatengerapo mwai.

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