In Summary
  • The UCC Executive Director, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi was last week quoted saying it would take six days for a person to replace a SIM card.
  • With the new process, Mr Bantariza said it could even take a single day for the process to be completed.

Cabinet has directed the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) to provide 50 biometric card readers to Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). The card readers will be used to set up 50 SIM card registration centres across the country.

According to the Deputy Director Uganda Media Centre, Col Shaban Bantariza, the decision followed public outcry on the hustle of replacing lost SIM cards. Over the last three weeks, Ugandans seeking to replace lost SIM cards were subjected to strict procedures that were set by Uganda Communications Commission.

They include production of a valid police report, presentation of a letter from NIRA validating that a SIM card holder's national ID card is authentic, re-registration of the applicant for a SIM card by the telecommunications operator using bio-metrics and a passport photograph, among others.

But the process has been met with discontent from a number of nationals who failed to secure the letter from NIRA. The letters could only be issued from NIRA head offices at Kololo Airstrip.

The new process suggested by cabinet will eliminate NIRA from the SIM card replacement and registration process. The biometric national identity card readers will be managed by UCC and telecom companies.

Mr Bantariza said the biometric readers will not disclose all personal data of Ugandans. He said they will only synchronize identity of the applicant by confirming that identity card presented by the applicant is genuine.

He said UCC will communicate next week where the SIM card registration centres will be situated.


Both Uganda Communications Commission and telecom companies will ensure that these centres are situated in convenient places which can be easily accessed.

The UCC Executive Director, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi was last week quoted saying it would take six days for a person to replace a SIM card.

With the new process, Mr Bantariza said it could even take a single day for the process to be completed.
Asked whether 50 registration centres are enough to cover the whole country, Bantariza said more will be set up if necessary.