Bulawayo Bureau-Herald Reporter.
THE deadline for the registration of mobile phone line cards has been extended until further notice, after only 25 percent of subscribers managed to register, the Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe said yesterday.
The Potraz board met yesterday in Harare and decided that registration by subscribers be extended and a new deadline would be announced some time next week.
The initial deadline elapsed yesterday.
In an interview, Potraz board chairman Engineer Charles Sibanda said the deadline had been postponed until further notice.
"The board decided that we are going to extend registration," he said.
Eng Sibanda said the board had decided to hold a Press conference next week at which a new deadline and conditions of the extension would be laid down.
He said the decision had been arrived at after realisation that 75 percent of the subscribers were yet to register their Sim cards.
"The board decided that the deadline should be extended because only 25 percent of subscribers have registered so far. For now we cannot give the new deadline but we will call a Press conference next week where a full statement would be made."
"There are certain things that need to be addressed like the conditions of extension and the new deadline, but people can continue registering their Sim cards," he said.
Weekend media reports had quoted Potraz officials as saying the deadline might be extended after mobile phone companies reported that they were failing to access all their subscribers particularly those in rural areas.
The revelation by Eng Sibanda that just 25 percent of subscribers had registered by yesterday comes amid claims by some mobile phone operators that the majority of their customers had registered.
Speaking in separate interviews, officials from the service providers blamed subscribers for failing to take heed to the call to register before the initial deadline.
"Potraz are the ones who are driving the programme and we are the ones implementing it with our subscribers. The problem is that people want to wait until the last minute when they would start rushing to beat deadlines," said a NetOne official, Ms Rutendo Chaburuka, yesterday.
In a recent interview, Econet spokesperson Mr Rangarirai Mberi said although the mobile operator had decentralised registration centres by establishing mobile centres around towns, there were still some subscribers who were yet to register their lines.
In the past few days, long queues had been the order of the day as subscribers thronged service providers in an effort to beat the deadline.
Yesterday there were still long queues at the Econet First Street shop in Harare, Telecel Sam Nujoma Street shop and the Bulawayo NetOne shop as subscribers were submitting their registration forms. - Bulawayo Bureau-Herald Reporter.
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