By Parliament press
Members have tasked the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) to fast track public sensitization on the electronic system of loading airtime if they are to phase out airtime scratch cards.
MPs expressed concern that UCC did not prepare Ugandans to embrace the electronic recharge system and demanded that the Commission expedites sensitization of the public on the advantage that the e-system has over scratch cards.
“The e-system is the right direction to take but we need about two months of sensitization. I have seen some adverts [about the change] but have not seen any messages in the local languages,” said Lillian Nakatte (NRM, Luwero district).
Hon Cuthbert Abigaba (NRM, Kibale) said that the ban on airtime cards was poorly communicated to the public.
”The queries which the UCC Executive Director is calling bad publicity is public hunger for the right information. It came as a shock to the public that by 31st July there will no scratch cards, yet there are many un answered questions,” said Abigaba.
The Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Hon Frank Tumwebaze and officials from UCC today appeared before the Committee on ICT to explain the proposed ban on airtime cards.
The meeting was prompted by a heated debate that took place last week in Parliament where MPs opposed the move to ban scratch cards.
UCC Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi, acknowledged the need for a countrywide sensitization saying that any shift in technology often attracts public criticism, citing the negativity towards the biometric registration.
Minister Tumwebaze promised that all concerns raised by legislators would be answered during a dialogue with telecommunication companies scheduled for Thursday.