The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has extended the SIM card registration deadline by six months.
The exercise will now continue until October 15, 2022.
The CA said it will fine operators if they missed their target if their subscribers did not register.
The exercise had attracted a lot of backlash from users who complained that they were already registered with the Telcos.
The Authority’s Director-General Ezra Chiloba said on Friday that the move will allow Kenyans more time to comply.
Chiloba added that non-compliant SIM users risk spending six months in jail, or a Sh300,000 fine, or both.
The mass registration of mobile users is part of the Government’s efforts to weed out rogue people that engage in mobile money fraud and other crimes.
Speaking on Thursday at Masol, in West Pokot County after launching the USF Voice infrastructure connectivity project, Chiloba reiterated the ban on hawking of SIM cards by unregistered dealers and said the authority’s aim is to deal with fraudsters who operate unregistered sim cards.
“We will have a meeting this evening to deliberate ways in which we can help citizens register. The sim cards might be switched off tomorrow but we will listen to the operators because it was their obligation to re-register the sim cards afresh and ensure that persons seeking to do so submit all of the required details as mandated by law,” said Chiloba.
In the past week, the country has witnessed long lines outside major communication service providers branches as Kenyans rushed to beat the April 15 deadline for their SIM Card registration.
According to Chiloba, parents who have sim-registered their kids or telecom firms that fail to abide by the registration guidelines will face a six-month jail term or be fined Sh300,000.
Some telecom firms have been issuing notices and reminders to their customers to re-register lest they be suspended.
Mobile network operators had been asked to speed up the data cleanup exercise as no more time will be added upon the expiry of the grace period.