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Invalidated Subscribers Will Withdraw Mobile Money Balances

Although he did not divulge details on the expected grace period, Dr Rugunda stated that it will not be long and encouraged all mobile phone users to register and validate their phones in order to freely utilize the services in future. He says the window will not be used for anything else.

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Government will give a minimal period for mobile money users to withdraw balances from invalidated simcards, upon expiry of the deadline on August 30, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has said.

Although he did not divulge details on the expected grace period, Dr Rugunda stated that it will not be long and encouraged all mobile phone users to register and validate their phones in order to freely utilize the services in future. He says the window will not be used for anything else.

Dr Rugunda was addressing a joint press conference with Security Minister General Henry Tumukunde and ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze on yesterday's parliamentary resolution not to extend beyond the set deadline.

Before the extension in May, the decision to switch off the unregistered simcards had left many unable to make or receive calls. Voice calls were restored upon a presidential directive which extended the deadline to August.

Now Rugunda says the Government has decided that an extension will not be granted. He says so far 98 percent of the mobile phone users have complied with the registration deadline. He added that a committee comprised of National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) and Uganda Communications commission (UCC) and the mobile telecom service providers will be established to enforce the registration deadline to ensure that no one whose phones are registered stays on air.

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He says NIRA will continue registration and issuance of IDs to enable those who have not registered to do so. Rugunda adds that no one will be cut off before August 30 like many reports are indicating.

Henry Tumukunde, the Minister for Security states that this will now pin crime to individuals and reduce insecurity. He says they will also be working towards respecting the rights of users by guarding towards their privacy.

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Frank Tumwebaze, the ICT Minister appealed to Ugandans to register stating that; their business should not be affected for failure of compliance.