The Lazarus Chakwera administration plans to introduce annual subscription fees for mobile phone numbers in Malawi
This means mobile phone users will be paying fees set by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) which regulates telecommunication services in the country.
Macra acting director-general Henry Silika has justified the move saying Malawi is lagging behind since other countries are already charges such fees.
Silika mentioned Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa as countries where mobile phone users pay subscription fees for each phone number they own.
He also claimed the fees would derail criminals from buying numerous sim cards to use them for scamming mobile subscribers.
Silika further claimed that the fee has been necessitated by improvements in mobile technology including the introduction of 4G.
The plans to introduce the subscription fees come at a time mobile phone users are already complaining about high data charges in the country, which are considered to be among the most expensive in the world.