Friday, November 27, 2009

Registering that there SIM card

The new law in Botswana requires every holder of a prepaid SIM card to register their number by the end of 2009. Did someone mention 'invasion of privacy'?

Having only 2 more weeks here this year I thought it was high time to get it done. Went round to the MASCOM office near the main mall....Every time I go there there is a huge queue....As there was today. Not only a huge, slow-moving queue with about one person dealing with it, but also no forms for registering the phone - they had run out (yesterday I had seen a guy with a several inches thick bundle leaving the place...). I was told to wait outside and they would soon get a form. Lots of people were sitting outside, slightly in the shade, waiting. I waited for about 15 minutes or so, by which time a queue had also formed outside. No forms appeared.

I got narked, and felt guilty because I was the only white guy in the queue... but eventually got up and cycled to Riverwalk, to buy those black trousers required for next weeks' 'President's Concert' - still need to find a bow tie....

Realised that I might have time to get my hair cut, too, and as I went upstairs to the hairdresser's I found a MASCOM office next to it; with hardly any queue! Went to get the modem configured - to get me through the times when my accommodation's internet is down; filled in the form and had my passport ready to confirm that I am who I am.

Only to find that no-one checks the form and it is just stuffed in a box. Hmmm. So what is the point of registering? People could put in any information in the form..... But job done!