Two arrested in Tanzania for bribery amid SIM card registration rush

Pretoria – Tanzanian police held two people for allegedly soliciting for bribes from citizens needing national identity documents required to register SIM cards, as a deadline loomed, the country’s Citizen publication reported.

The Citizen said one of the two was an official at the National Identification Authority, while the other was an agent at a telecommunications company.

The duo allegedly solicited money from citizens who were in a last minute rush to register their SIM cards before the January 20 extended deadline announced by President John Magufuli when he registered his own SIM card on December 27. Magufuli stated at the time that there would not be a second extension.

The Citizen reported that some residents had failed to register their cards due to long queues and the tedious procedures involved in procuring identity documents at the National Identification Authority.

Economists in Tanzania have warned that switching off unregistered SIM cards would negatively impact the East African nation with a population of more than 57 million.