PLC - Adverse Report on Telecommunication Subscriber Registration Regulations - SI 142-2013




In pursuit of its constitutional mandate as provided for in section 152 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, The Parliamentary Legal Committee met on the 18th and 20thof November 2013 at 1100hrs to consider Statutory Instruments that were gazetted during the months of June to October. After deliberations, it unanimously resolved that an adverse report be issued in respect of Statutory Instrument 142 of 2013, gazetted on 27 September 2013, due to the following considerations:


Statutory Instrument 142 of 2013: Postal and Telecommunications (Subscriber Registration) Regulations, 2013

Pertinent Provisions

Inter alia, the Regulations

- bar service providers providing a telecommunication service unless subscribers details have been registered (section 3(1)) and require the deactivation of unregistered subscribers from 1 November (section 3(4));

- require, where the subscriber is a natural person, the subscriber’s full name, permanent residential address, nationality, gender and subscriber identity number. In addition the subscriber’s national identity number or passport number is required. Where the customer is a legal person, the Regulations require –

  1. copy of certificate of registration or incorporation or business licence; and
  2. full names, surname, national identification number and an address of the authorised representative of the legal person; and
  3. the name and address of the juristic person and, where applicable, the registration number of the juristic person; and
  4. subscriber identity number. (section 4(1));

- require the owner to report the loss, theft or destruction of a mobile phone or SIM card to the police and  the owner’s service provider (section 6(1)), and subscribers to report any change of ownership (section 6(3));

- require service providers to maintain a Subscriber Register – in both material and electronic copy– to register information or details provided by subscribers when registering for telecommunication services (section 7(1));

- require service providers to keep subscriber information for five years after the subscriber has concluded their contract (sections 5(3) and 7(6))

- require the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to establish and maintain a Central Subscriber Information Data Base to store all subscriber information that is transmitted to POTRAZ by service providers at specified intervals (section 8(1));

- require service providers  and POTRAZ to preserve the integrity and prevent any corruption, loss or unauthorised disclosure of subscriber information and take steps to restrict the unauthorised use of subscriber information  by their employees(section 8(9));

- provide the right to legal redress to any person who is aggrieved by any unlawful use of his or her personal data (section 8(13));

- provide access to subscriber information stored on the service provider registers and central database for

  1. the operation of the emergency call services or assisting emergency services,
  2. assisting enforcement agencies or safeguarding national security,
  3. the provision of mobile-based emergency warning systems,
  4. undertaking approved educational and research purposes, and
  5. assisting POTRAZ to verify the accuracy and completeness of information held by licensed operators. (section 8(10));

- criminalize providing false subscriber information (section 4(8));

- allow subscribers to retain the same telephone numbers when changing telephone service providers(section 7(6));

- permit law enforcement agents to access information on the Central Data Base where POTRAZ has received prior written request from an official with a rank coordinate to  or above the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police(section 9(2));

- permit the withholding of subscriber information from law enforcement agents or any other person where such release breaches the Constitution or any other enactment or would constitute a threat to national security (section 9(4));

- limits the disclosure of information to a law enforcement officer to the extent that such disclosure is necessary for the performance of the duties of the law enforcement officer (section 9(5)(a)).


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