CAK comes clean on switching off sim-cards whose owners fail to register for Huduma Namba by May 18

Forced to eat a humble Pie

AU envoy Raila Odinga registering for Huduma Namba

The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) has now made a u-turn on a plan to switch off phone sim-cards of owners who will have failed to register for Huduma Namba by May 18.

On Thursday, CAK General Director Francis Wangusi had categorically stated that they would proceed with the plan drawing outrage from Kenyans on social media regarding the plan.

Majority of Kenyans questioned why the Government would force citizens to register for Huduma Namba yet they had initially stated it was voluntary.

CAK has now been forced to eat a humble pie after the backlash purporting that Mr Wangusi was quoted out of context.

In a press Statement, the authority stated that Mr. Wangusi was only emphasizing the importance of the Huduma Namba as a single source of truth for the identity of Citizens.

“We wish to clarify that the Director General has been quoted out of context. For the record Mr Wangusi emphasized the importance of the Huduma Number as a single source of truth for the identity of citizens. He noted that unscrupulous persons have in the past used either lost ID cards or ID cards of dead persons to register SIM Cards with the express purpose of misusing the cards so registered to participate in criminal activities.

"The Authority therefore wishes to assure Kenyans that there are no plans to switch of SIM cards for Subscribers who will have not registered for Huduma Number by the set deadline of May 18” reads part of the statement.

Disowned

The statement comes hours after State House and the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology disowned the alleged plan to switch off SIM-cards.

The ICT Ministry reiterated that the Huduma Namba registration is a voluntary exercise in compliance with the recent High Court ruling.

“There is absolutely no directive from the Government to institute any punitive measures against those who don’t register,” reads part of the statement issued by ICT PS Jerome Ochieng.

Earlier, State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita also emphasized that registration for Huduma Namba is a purely voluntary process and that nobody will be forced to participate in it.

On Thursday Wangusi was captured on Camera saying “We are waiting for the 45 days to end. We will say, unless you have a Huduma Namba, you don’t have a SIM-card. So prepare yourself. And when we say it that way, it could be a polite order but it’s an order that is enforceable.”

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