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Telecoms: 1 million mobile phones disconnected in Zimbabwe

By Nqobile Bhebhe
Posted on Monday, 16 November 2015 09:48

The company insists this aimed at encouraging customers register their SIM cards, in what authorities say is a measure meant to curb criminal activities.

many people came asking for information on certain numbers and we failed to locate the owners

Those with unregistered SIM cards had been given an ultimatum of November 23, 2015 to register their mobile numbers.

The country’s telecoms regulator, Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) regularly issues directives on unregistered SIM cards.

“In line with Statutory Instrument 95/2014 promulgated to ensure that customers of mobile networks are registered on the network, Econet has and continues to ensure that its customers are registered on the network and that their details are correct and up to date,” The state owned, The Herald, quoted a senior Econet official, Lovemore Nyatsine, saying.

“Where we identify customer details not complying with our validation exercises, we are mandated to deactivate them after all efforts have been taken to ensure that they comply.”

Quoting unnamed sources, the publication said some customers had a tendency of providing wrong information.

“We investigated the matter after many people came asking for information on certain numbers and we failed to locate the owners. This was after some people developed a tendency of using unregistered lines to commit crimes and then discarding them later,” the unnamed source is quoted saying.

Just recently, MTN was fined $5.2 billion by Nigerian authorities after it failed to disconnect unregistered SIM cards.

The firm has until Monday to pay the fine, but its officials hope to strike a deal with Nigerian officials to reduce or defer paying the penalty.

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