Minister responsible Nicholas Dausi made the pronouncement in Parliament in a Ministerial Statement on “SIM card registration.”
The Minister said there registration is advantageous in benefitting the citizens and the country at large.
“Mr. Speaker Sir, let me take this opportunity to allay fears that some quarters may have that registration of SIM cards is a ploy by government to eavesdrop in people’s conversations. Far from it, in fact government is not involved in the actual registration of the SIM cards. Let me emphasize we are not spying on anyone,” indicated Dausi.
The Minister said the responsibility of government through MACRA is simply to see to it that provisions of the law which the House passed are enforced.
According to the statement, the House was informed that it is not the Executive but the House that passed a law with provision that SIM cards should be registered and that other countries have been doing this for years.
The Minister said those who have travelled either to the Western World or even in SADC Region can testify that all SIM cards are registered.
The issue of SIM card registration attracted quite a number of questions where Members of Parliament sought clarification on how the exercise is being undertaken.
One of the questions that attracted applause in the House was asked by Member of Parliament for Kasungu North East Wakuda Kamanga who asked the Minister to consider service providers registering the public in their localities like trading centers and where SIM cards are sold.
The Minister of Information in response assured the Members that his Ministry will hold further discussion with telephone service providers to register people’s SIM cards close to their areas for convenience sake.
Member for Lilongwe Msozi South Dzoole Mwale asked the Minister to highlight on how many SIM cards a person will be eligible to register in his name. The Minister of Information said he was not sure of this and asked the House to give him time to verify the matter and come back with the proper response.
After the SIM card registration statement, Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango presented a statement on an update on major infrastructure projects in Malawi.
Mhango told the House that the Ministry has developed a National Master Plan to be implemented over a period of 20 years from 2017- 2037 in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III.
He said this intervention is a first of its kind in government and has a total cost of 9.5 billion US dollars over this period.