Uganda SIM reg to be challenged in court

The Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) and Legal Brains Trust have sued the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) over alleged illegalities, irregularities and anomalies in the national Subscriber Identity Module (SIM)-card registration exercise.

HRNJ-Uganda says the hearing of the case has been fixed for the 25th of this month. The case seeks torestrain UCC and the Government of Uganda from switching off or deactivating unregistered SIM-cards on 1 March 2013. 

The two organisations have advanced 45 reasons justifying their case, among them that the one year period set by the UCC to implement SIM-card registration was insufficient, and 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 excessive measure and inconsistent with the human rights obligations of government.

“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.

Meanwhile, UCC says all unregistered SIM cards will be disconnected after the 1 March deadline. 

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