CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi addressing the press today on the recent order by CA to mobile operators to suspend or deactivate unregistered SIM cards from their networks.

Mobile users providing false information to register simcard risks six months imprisonment or a fine of Ksh100,000 if found guilty, the telcos regulator has warned.

The warning by Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) comes in the wake of a crackdown that has so far seen 62 SIM card hawkers apprehended and convicted in courts of law. Thirty-four (34) of them have been slapped with penalties, while warrants of arrests have been issued against the others.  Simcard registration regulations also outlaw the hawking of SIM cards, which offence attracts a fine of up to Ksh.500,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both. 

Sim card registration is aimed at enhancing national security by making it possible to trace details of subscribers engaged in criminal activities such as spreading hate speech, mobile money conman ship, extortion or demanding for ransom in kidnapping cases.

Francis Wangusi, Director General, Communications Authority of Kenya CA today in a media briefing said the continued use of unregistered SIM cards is not only criminal but also a threat to national security. “Unregistered SIM cards are misused to perpetuate crime, including money laundering, kidnapping, malicious calls, cybercrime and mobile money fraud,” Mr Wangusi said.

“I wish to make it clear that the law does not allow for proxy registration of SIM cards. Subscribers must appear in person and provide correct information. As a matter of fact, providing incorrect information is an offence that attracts a fine Ksh.100,000 or imprisonment for six (6) months or both,” he added.

In June 2011, then Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta proposed that identification become a legal requirement through the Finance Bill 2011.

This allowed amendment of Section 27 of the Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Act 2013 and Gazettement of regulations requiring companies and individual subscribers - including minors - to register their Sim cards.

Organisations and small businesses have to provide telcos with their official numbers and physical location while parents register on behalf of their children.