Over 500 000 non-compliant SIM cards will be deregistered by the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) across the country.
Mwenya Mutale, the acting ZICTA Director-General, told the media that the regulator expects to deactivate SIM cards of persons who have not complied with the rule of no more than 10 SIM cards per person without justification.
According to Mutale, non-compliant SIM cards will have their outgoing call services immediately suspended, although they will still receive incoming calls.
Those who remain non-compliant will have 14 days from the commencement of service suspension to claim their deactivated SIM cards, failing which they would lose their phone numbers.
Mutale went on to say that the Authority was forced to adopt this course of action to combat mobile money fraud, which impedes the digital economy’s expansion.
Zambia has continued to see a growth in the use of digital financial services, according to ZICTA, with mobile money transactions increasing by 113 per cent to US$5.6 billion by the end of the year from US$2.6 billion in 2019.
He stated that the Authority is collaborating with mobile service providers to strengthen the SIM card registration process.
“As part of our efforts to combat mobile money scams, we will publish a further directive requiring persons to justify why they have more than 10 SIM cards. We have also partnered with law enforcement agencies to tackle mobile money scams, which have left many mobile money subscribers’ victims,” Mutale said.