The High Court in Kampala has declined to issue an interim order blocking Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) from switching off all the unregistered mobile phones on Friday this week.
Justice Eldard Mwanguhya dismissed the application that sought to have this deadline extended until the final hearing and determination of a case that is filed by a journalist rights body –Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda and a Non-Governmental Organisation, Legal Brains Trust.
Justice Mwanguhya said on Monday that the two applicants had not put before him justifying reasons upon which he would base to halt the exercise. He added that there was no written evidence to support the interim application as lawyers presented only oral submissions.
He noted that it was still unwise for the applicants to wait up to the last three days to seek court’s intervention yet UCC has been announcing its deadline for more than a year.
However, through the Attorney General government contends that Simcard registration is not intended to endanger any person but rather to preserve public security and detect crimes as practiced in other civilized nations.
The judge now fixed May 25 as the date for hearing of the main application in which the two applicants sued UCC and government for invading people’s privacy, security and free speech.
UCC has fixed February 28 as the deadline for all sim cards to be registered and has indicated that effective March 1 2013, unregistered phones will be switched off.