The High Court dismissed a case filed by activists led by the Uganda Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ-Uganda) and the Legal Brains Trust challenging the national SIM card registration exercise that ends tomorrow. The exercise is under the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act, 2010.

The activists sued Uganda Communications Commission and the government saying the registration exercise, which began in March 2012, was marred by inconsistencies and anomalies which must be addressed.

High Court judge Yasin Nyanzi who dismissed the petition this afternoon said the case had no merit. He said UCC and the telephone service providers had the mandate to register SIM cards. He also faulted the applicants for failing to provide statistical evidence of the would-be aggrieved people should their SIM cards be de-activated.

In the main application before the Court of Appeal, HRNJ argue that no structured and sufficient public consultations, sensitisation and awareness-raising activities were carried out to justify the switching off unregistered SIM Cards on March 1 or any other deadline set without obtaining parliamentary approval.

However, UCC lawyer Paul Kuteesa said the communication body is not in charge of switching off phones, neither do they direct action.


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