KAMPALA —The civil division of the High Court of Uganda will on 10 September 2021 at 10:00am deliver its ruling on a bid by activists seeking to delay the implementation of the government’s project for electronic car tracking, dubbed ITMS — Intelligent Transport Monitoring System, and contracted out to the beleaguered Russian outfit known as “Joint Stock Company Global Security”.
The application was one of many proceedings filed during the most recent COVID-19 lockdown on 28 July 2021 by Legal Brains Trust, a Kampala-based democracy and human rights watchdog, and certified by court as “urgent” the following day.
“On 31 July 2021, in the presence of Mr Martin Mwambutsya, the director of civil litigation in the Attorney General’s chambers, court issued directions for expedited hearing of all matters challenging ITMS,” said Adv Stanley Okecho, who appeared on behalf of Legal Brains Trust.
Mr Okecho also confirmed that the main case “which seeks to eradicate ITMS (aka compulsory digital car tracking)” was fixed for hearing on 27 August 2021 at 10:00 am before The Honourable Mr Justice Boniface Wamala.
Mother of all battles
“Both sides have completed the filing of their respective court papers and by all indications this is likely to be a complex and prolonged battle; that’s why we have today requested for a temporary injunction order to halt the rolling out of ITMS before the hearing and final determination of the mother of all battles that will shape the development of privacy and data protection jurisprudence in the Southern Hemisphere ,” Mr Okecho clarified, in a short address to the press after the temporary injunction case was adjourned for ruling next month.
In a written statement to the press, Adv Isaac Ssemakadde, the founder and chief executive of Legal Brains Trust, and mastermind of this public interest litigation said: “After all the huffing and puffing, it is encouraging to see that the government’s case — at least on the papers eventually filed in court— is laughably absurd. We are hugely optimistic and expect to win this thing before Christmas, all factors remaining constant.”
He added: “You can play a critical role in this patriotic pushback to stop the creation of a Soviet-style police state in Uganda through this ITMS nonsense by making a donation, of any size, to help us sustain this fight”.