It started with an order to deactivate all unregistered sim cards and before expiration of the deadline Uganda communications commission (UCC) has directed all Ugandans with SIM cards to verify the information they gave the telephone companies or re-register within 7days using national ID or passports.
Uganda security is known to work under panic, as usual this decree kind of order comes after a phone call was made threatening to kill AIGP proceeding the assassination of police spokesman Kaweesi
The primary justification for this policy is that having a named individual associated with every mobile connection could help law enforcement agencies apprehend criminals, leading to a reduction in criminal and anti-social behavior.
To date, however there is no empirical evidence to demonstrate a direct link between SIM registration and a reduction in crime anywhere in the world.
Government is acting in typical dictatorial way with one overriding aim of protecting itself in power.
These trend of actions are just a part of a move in which museveni targets to silence all Ugandans especially on social media which is the only communication mode he has no control on so far
Information is pivotal for a democratic, free society. Like all dictators they struggle to silence freedom of speech, they either seize, threaten or buy off conventional media [TV, radio stations, Newspapers] and in the modern internet era social media has become a dictators tyranny not easy to control hence the SIM-card registration by national ID.
To register SIM-cards government is ordering its citizens to give their vital information like full names, address, nationality, gender, location and national identity or passport number to private companies as government has no mobile communication company
Though not stated anywhere mobile service providers must retain that information for at least five years after the customer ends their contract and mandated to “produce their subscriber register to the authorities free of charge upon request.”
Controlling information and dissent are part of what goes into maintaining a totalitarian state. Mandatory SIM card registration eradicates the potential for anonymity of communications, enables location-tracking, simplifies communications surveillance, interception hence it will easily enable a dictator to send fear among internet users.
Uganda has no single law to protect cell phone users’ information and government didn’t attempt making one before issuing the decree like any govt that disrespects its citizens.
As we are ordered to register within 7 days there are unanswered questions “Access to the database will be availed to who when why and how? We are blindly driven into the vague and broad band language law that empowers any government minister access to information for virtually any reason.
With registration of SIM-cards government will totally do away with anonymous social media users as it will be able to detect who is using what name from where?
It is said that the way Ugandans post on social media now is at a level Egypt and Morocco were when they were about to start a revolution. Social media in Uganda has gone to another level as users have adopted to reading long articles on the media hence a leading information source.
Its known very many Ugandans don’t have national ID’s or passports yet own phones, whats to be done for that group is yet to be known.
On Friday 7th govt let off its intent in fighting the cyber world. It started midnight by switching off Spearnews servers, then they arrested Facebook activist Stella Nyanzi. On the same day police disrupted a press conference by Nambooze in Nsambya as the other beat off TJ members in a meeting while others bared Bishops from visiting Omusinga’s home they purport is free.
With this system I believe Government will be able to arrest many, silence the cowards but the brave will turn braver.
We are in a mafia state where everyone is either a target or collateral in the fight for regime servival. Be a target