For the third time running, the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) has again granted operators up to the end of the month to file their subscriber listing. The exercise has now been extended twice, after the first deadline was snubbed by a huge chunk of subscribers.
Information permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo said amendments needed to the laws were awaiting cabinet approval before being tabled in parliament to give force to the registration requirement.
According to the regulator, a total of 12.42 million mobile subscribers had registered, representing 61.6% of the total 20.8 million mobile phone users in Kenya.
Safaricom is leading the registrations with 13.8 million subscribers out of its client base of 16.24 million (85%), followed by Zain with 1.96 million registered out of its 2.8 million subscribers (70%).
The delay puts the government’s plans to safeguard the public against widespread threats posed by terrorists, drug traffickers, money launderers, extortionists, fraudsters, hate messages and inciters in jeopardy, as criminals may carry on with their activities.
The CCK directive pushed operators to mount spirited registration campaigns across the country with both operators setting up registration centres across the country.
Safaricom resorted to sending SMSs asking subscribers to send free additional details to complete their registration.
Essar’s Yu network entered into a partnership with two banks, namely Co-operative and I&M banks to register customers at their branches.
Operators say they still have two weeks to compile the latest statistics, as government seeks a legal framework before the end of the month.
“The exercise is going on well and data is currently being compiled and will be submitted to CCK on of September 30, 2010. The figures will then be released by the regulator accordingly,” said Zain Managing Director Rene Meza.
BRIAN ADERO in Nairobi, Kenya