Ugandans to move long distances as SIMCard replacement services resume, but at regional level

Nelson Bwire Kapo

Nelson Bwire Kapo

, Featured

Following a directive from cabinet to NIRA and UCC to ensure that the process of SIMcard registration and replacement is made easy and available to Ugandans, telecommunication companies have resumed the service albeit at regional level.

In the directive, Cabinet required NIRA to provide 50 biometric card readers to UCC. The card readers would be used to set up 50 SIMcard registration centers across the country.

According to a statement from Airtel Uganda, SIMCard replacement is now available at the select Airtel Service Centres that have been equipped with the National ID verification and biometric systems.

These include; Ntinda shop, Head office shop, Plaza jinja road and Forest Mall shop all in Kampala. Residents in Northern Uganda will have to travel to Gulu shop for the service, while those in Western Uganda will receive the service at the Mbarara airtel shop and those in Eastern region will access the service only at the Mbale shop.

MTN on the other hand have located service centres at; Shoprite-Clocktower along Ben Kiwanuka street, Shoprite-Lugogo Mall, Mukwano Mall, Kyaggwe Road and Kampala Road, Opposite Bank of Uganda all in Kampala.

In Western Uganda, MTN simcard replacement services will be obtained in Mbarara and Fortportal, while those in Northern Uganda will access the services in Gulu and Masindi. Eastern Uganda services will be available only in Jinja at casino building along Lubas road.

The process for replacing SIMCards has been restricted to possession of National Identity card as well as a letter from police confirming loss of initial SIMcard. It will cost airtel subscirbers Shs2000 for the service and Shs1500 for MTN subscribers.

Africell Uganda is yet to release any statement regarding the service.

Despite the roll out of the process, Ugandans are discontent with the fact that one will have to move long distances just to replace a SIMCard.

Clare Muhindo, who hails from Kasese noted that it is a disservice for one to spend transport that is far more than the service fees.

“So, you spend Shs10,000 from Kasese to fort portal to replace a simcard at Shs1500… Or Shs15,000(could be more) from kisoro to Mbarara for the same and then the another amount of transport money back?” she posed.

With the new process, residents from Masaka for instance will have to travel to either Mbarara or return to Kampala, those in Mbale will have to travel to Jinja, as well as those in Iganga, Busia, Bugiri and Tororo.









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