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New Hurdle for Chiloba in Sim Card Registration Drive

  • The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) faces a new hurdle in its SIM card registration drive after a Kenyan filed a petition challenging the process.

    In the petition filed at the High Court, Nairobi, Eliud Karanja, asked the court to issue orders to stop the ongoing process citing a violation of Kenyan’s private data.

    Karanja stated that the process contravenes the Data and Protection act 2019 and other fundamental rights and freedoms of Kenyans.

    Entrance to Communications Authority of Kenya.

    “The petitioner, alongside the other people of Kenya, aspires for a government based on the essential values of human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice, and the rule of law,â€

    “Under Article 3 (1) of the Constitution of Kenya, the Petitioner, the Respondents, the Interested Party, and this Honourable Court, are all under an obligation to respect, uphold and defend the Constitution,† Karanja stated in the petition.

    The petitioner further asked the court to declare the process null and void amidst an uproar among Kenyans.

    “A declaration that the Directive from the 1st Respondent for the 1st and 2nd Respondents and the Interested Party to carry out fresh registration of their existing and already registered mobile telephone service subscribers is unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void,†the petition read.

    Chiloba-led Communications Authority of Kenya has faced criticism and backlash over the SIM card registration exercise. 

    A section of Kenyans vowed to sue the government in the event that their SIM cards are witched off once the April 15, deadline reaches. Others argued that they would not adhere to the directive. 

    “I acknowledge a text to update my SIM Card registration to avoid disconnection. I understand the cost of the update is Ksh300. You have my ID Card with which the SIM Card was registered. I will take legal action against you, should my line be disconnected.

    “No Kenyan should be inconvenienced or put to unnecessary expense even for Ksh1 by mobile phone services providers. It is time we said no. Let us see if they will disconnect the over 10 million subscribers if we all say no to this unlawful and unwarranted demand,” Westland’s MP aspirant, Nelson Havi dared.

    However, Chiloba defended the process stating that the government was out to tame the rising cases of cybercrime in the country.

    “We got about 65 million SIM cards out there in operation yet the population of Kenya is not 50 million. This means each and every person in this country including the newborn has a number attached to them. But we know some of us to have more than one SIM card. Some registered and others not,” he stated.

    The Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi as pictured on November 18, 2019
    The Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi as pictured on November 18, 2019
    Simon Kiragu

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