We have consistently argued that human beings must be associated with, and be accountable for, SIMs. The imperatives of the Budget Telecom Network Model cause companies (or more, the thousands of resellers who actually interact with customers) to give away SIMs without too many controls. Therefore, one must be judicious in enforcing the rules. We have been pointing to Pakistan as a model. Kenya, it appears, is exemplary of what not to do.
The Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has condemned a decision by the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) to fine subscribers KES300,000 (USD3,426) or jail them for three years for using unregistered SIM cards. CapitalFM.co.ke quotes Cofek secretary general Stephen Mutoro as suggesting that the only penalty customers should face for using unregistered SIM cards is disconnection from their service provider. Once disconnected, subscribers will have 90 days to recover their numbers, but Mutoro emphasised that the failure by providers to disconnect noncompliant customers should not be placed with the subscribers themselves.