Implementing SIM registration in Uganda has proven to be a hard nut to crack as the Uganda Human Rights Network (HRN) and Legal Brains Trust has taken the government to task over the registration process and has continued to take the Uganda Communications Commission to court over the legalities of the process.
Uganda like many other African countries has applied a SIM registration policy to help in curbing the criminal activities done with SIM cards.
On Friday High court Judge Yasin Nyanzi ruled in favor of the Uganda Communications Commission, stating that the Uganda Human Rights Network and Legal Brains Trust failed to prove their case.
“… there are criminals and like-minded people who would not like to register their SIM cards irrespective of the circumstances,” the judge said during the proceedings. The HRH and Legal Brains Trust said that the UCC had no legal right to disconnect SIM cards that weren’t registered by the Saturday last, as over a million SIM cards still needed to be registered.
SIM card registration in Uganda, according The Observer, is part of a regional exercise. Under the umbrella body called the East Africa Communications Organization (EACO), the East Africa region set mid 2012 as the deadline to have all existing SIM cards registered.”
The UCC also added that they had already reached their goal of registering over 90 percent of the SIM cards in Uganda as of August 30, which reflects a 70 percent increase since March this year.
The Observer reported that UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi said he was not surprised by the outcome of the petition since UCC was acting within the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act of 2010.
Mutabazi stressed that no extensions on the deadline would be made, even though 8 percent of the estimated 17 million mobile phone subscribers in Uganda have not yet registered their SIM cards.