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Rights activist asks court to halt SIM Cards registration

Rights activists want SIM Card registration to be stopped until disposal of a petition against the process.

A human rights activist under Rights Trumpet Limited, Norman Tumuhimbise has on Tuesday asked court to halt the ongoing re-registration and registration of SIM Cards pending disposal of a petition against the process.

In an application filed at the Civil Division of the High Court, the applicant are seeking an injunction against the process that is being implemented by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and telecom companies.

“An Interim Order doth issue restraining the respondent [Uganda Communications Commission and telecom companies] … from enforcing or implementing the directive of SIM Card subscriber details …. or recognising the national identity cards as the sole document of identity,” the reads the application in part.

The application that seeks to stop the process of registering SIM Cards.

UCC recently issued an ultimatum warning that all unregistered SIM Cards would be switched off this Thursday.

The re-registration, which is limited to the use of only national identity cards, remains a contentious issue with a number of stakeholders urging government to first gazette a law before “handing over” citizens’ information to private and foreign companies.

Forinstance, Uganda Law Society recently challenged UCC against insisting on the use of the national identity cards numbers arguing that it does not make sense since the government issues a number of recognizable identity documents such as work permits, passports, driving license, student identity cards and voter’s cards.

In a meeting attended by different government agencies Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said government would not extend the this Thursday’s deadline urging Ugandans to comply with the registration exercise.

At least, according to data from government, more than 16.2 million Ugandans have registered for identity cards following the passing of the Registration of Persons Act in 2015.

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