Uganda Communications Communication, government sued over SIM card registration

Kampala, 08th/February/2013; Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) and Legal Brains Trust have sued the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) over illegalities, irregularities and anomalies that have characterized the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM)-card registration exercise. Hearing of the case has been fixed for this month. The duo wants Court to restrain UCC and the Government of Uganda from switching off or deactivating unregistered SIM-cards on 1st March 2013. The registration started in March 2012.
Through Web Advocates & Solicitors, the two organizations have advanced 45 (forty five) reasons justifying their case, among those; (a) that the deadline of 1st March 2013 of is unlawful, (b) that the one year period set by the UCC to implement SIM-card registration was insufficient, (c) that UCC did not carry out structured and satisfactory consultations and awareness-raising campaigns before and during this period and that it did not effectively and efficiently supervise registration process. They argue the process is marred with illegalities, irregularities and anomalies that have violated human rights which must be rectified before the switching off of unregistered SIM-cards. They contend that switching off unregistered subscribers is an excess measure and inconsistent with the Human Rights obligations of government.
The petitioners prayed for an expeditious hearing of the case before the 1st March 2013 in order to avoid multiplicities of legal proceedings concerning the process. The case has been allocated to Justice Eldad Mwangusha of the High Court, and the hearing fixed for 25th February 2013, at midday.
“We have consistently engaged UCC and the government throughout last year over this matter, but they could not listen to our pleas. We are hopeful that Court will grant our prayer and force them to rectify the illegalities, irregularities and anomalies that have marred the SIM-card registration process.” said the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator Wokulira Ssebaggala.


Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.