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Activist want SIM card registration halted over LC elections

By Farooq Kasule

Added 10th May 2017 08:55 AM

He also wants court to rescind all SIM card registration saying it was done under wrong procedure.

Activist want SIM card registration halted over LC elections

He also wants court to rescind all SIM card registration saying it was done under wrong procedure.

An activist has petitioned High Court in Kampala seeking to halt SIM card registration before local councils elections are legitimized by Government.

Norman Tumuhimbise, a member of the jobless brotherhood contends that for one to register for the national identity card, he/ she must present an LC 1 letter which does not exist under the law.

"Local councilors all over the country are holding offices illegally but National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) solicited for their recommendations as a guarantee for one to register for national identity card which makes the whole process wrong," Tumuhimbise argued.

He also wants court to rescind all SIM card registration saying it was done under wrong procedure.

Tumuhimbise proposed that in case court inclines to grant his request, it should order NIRA to accept local council three (LC3) recommendation letters as valid requirement for identity card registration.

He contends that in 2015, NIRA was given a mandate to carry out registration of people in the country under the Registration of Persons Act 2015 and it only relied on LC 1 letters which are operating illegally.

At about 9:30am, Tumuhimbise arrived at court aboard a motorcycle and went to the civil registry, where he filed the case. He was accompanied by 10 colleagues from jobless brotherhood.

Tumuhimbise said on April, 2, 2017, Uganda communication commission (UCC) issued a directive to mobile network companies in the country to ensure that all their customers re-register their SIM cards using their national identification number (NIN) but a number of people without IDs are likely to be affected.

He avers that the entire process is unlawful and pursued in reliance upon National Identification, which are also based on an illegality.

"Further registration of SIM cards and National IDs is unlawful and shall only result into compounded illegalities and is also an unattainable in law," Tumuhimbise claims.

Tumuhimbise is a son of a bush war fighter Sgt.Patrick Nuwagaba. He recently wrote a book titled unsowing the mustard seed, which was punching holes in President Yoweri Museveni's autobiography book of sowing the mustard seed.

Meanwhile, civil division deputy registrar Alex Ajiji is yet to fix the date for hearing of the case.

On May 8, 2017, court dismissed an application by Tumuhimbise and Human Rights Trumpet Limited, seeking to block the deactivation of unverified SIM cards after government extended SIM card registration deadline to May19.

In a letter to various telecommunications company in the country, UCC warned that all SIM cards whose details are not updated and verified by mobile telecommunications service providers before May 19, would be deactivated.

High Court Judge Stephen Musota is slated to hear the main application challenging the use of only national identity cards to register SIM cards yet there are other important documents like the passport.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people have thronged Kololo Independent grounds to re-register their SIM cards and to pick their National IDs.


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