Court dismisses last-minute challenge to SIM registration

26 Feb 2013

Kampala’s High Court has rejected a request for an interim order to block the telecoms regulator from deactivating unregistered SIMs at the end of this month, Ugandan news portal UGO reports. Activist group Human Rights Network for Journalists and Legal Brains Trust had submitted an application to the court calling for it to halt the Uganda Communications Commission’s (UCC’s) SIM registration scheme. Justice Eldard Mwangushya dismissed the case on the grounds that they had not provided justifying reasons to halt the programme, nor offered any written evidence to support the application – the applicants’ lawyers had only presented oral submissions. The judge added that it had been unwise for the applicants to wait until the last three days of the UCC’s project to seek intervention. The applicants are now taking action against the UCC and the government for violating citizen’s privacy, security and free speech.