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Court throws out Jobless Brotherhood application on unregistered SIM-cards

Kale Kayihura, flanked by Mutabazi, announce new sim-card registration rules last month. PHOTO UCCmedia

The High Court in Kampala has declined to restrain the Uganda Communications’ Communication (UCC) from deactivating all unregistered SIM-cards tomorrow May 19 2017.

Justice Steven Musota  on Thursday dismissed an application for a temporary injunction filed by the Jobless Brotherhood that sought to block UCC from switching off unregistered mobile phone users until the main case is heard and disposed off.

Justice Musota noted that the said application is overtaken by events since  it was filed long  before government extended the sim-card registration  deadline to tomorrow’s date.

He therefore ordered lawyers for both UCC who were led by Edwin Karugire and the applicants’ lawyer Eron Kiiza to file written submissions on the remaining issue of only recognising the National ID as the official document for this exercise.

Justice Musota said he will then deliver judgement on the matter on the June 8 2017.

The Jobless Brotherhood describe themselves  as “a non partisan youth platform for exposing and curbing youth exploitation, manipulation, desertion, unemployment and corruption in Uganda.”

They are better known for the protests against graft and cronyism in which they drop piglets usually around parliament. The Brotherhood claims to have 5,000 members.

The ultimatum Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) issued to Ugandans to re-register their SIM-cards has ended with immense anger and frustration at the way UCC does business.

The main source of contention about the process stemmed from the use of National IDs. Those who did not have the IDs said passports should have been an alternative document for reregistration or even driving permits.

The lot who had lost their IDs also criticized UCC for the lack of consideration since the process of getting an ID proved tedious. UCC and police in a joint statement saying unregistered simcards were abetting crime. UCC announced that anyone who does not heed to the directive would have their simcard deactivated.

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