Gov’t Dragged To Court Over Vehicle Tracking Deal

The government of Uganda on Friday, July 23, 2021, signed a 10-year agreement with Joint Stock Company Global Security, a Russian firm for the implementation of the intelligent transport monitoring system, a deal that will ensure all vehicles, motorcycles and boats installed with digital tracking devices, a move aimed at bolstering the security of the country according to government.

However, disgruntled City Lawyer Male Mabirizi has petitioned the civil division of the High Court challenging the move that he said is illegal since it violates the right to privacy.

Quoting a June 29, 2021 press briefing at the Uganda Media Centre, Mabirizi says that Security Minister, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi said the cabinet had a day earlier approved the move to have all vehicles and motorcycles installed with tracking devices to be handled by Global Systems Company that he says was done illegally.

“He stated that they shall require every motorist and motorcyclist to have electronic number plates with an electronic signal in them – to be incurred at the cost of every owner. I know that cabinet acted outside its mandate to tamper with Ugandans’ right to privacy without an Act of Parliament from which we can be able to ascertain whether the limitations are demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society,” Mabirizi notes.

He avers that is illegal and improper for the cabinet to select a service provider for the project of installing digital tracking devices in all vehicles and motorcycles without going through the required procurement processes as laid down under Ugandan laws.

Mabirizi now wants the court to intervene and reverse the cabinet decision regarding the installation of digital tracking devices in vehicles and motorcycles in Uganda.

“The applicant is seeking for a declaration that the cabinet decision that effective July 2021, every motor vehicle and motorcycle shall be fitted with tracking devices at the owners’ cost,” the court documents say.

“This court should issue a permanent injunction restraining any Uganda government official from implementing or acting on the strengths of the Cabinet decision that effective July 2021, every motor vehicle and motorcycle shall be fitted with tracking devices at the owners’ cost.”

The Attorney General has been listed as a respondent in the matter in which lawyer Mabirizi says he is filing the case as a civically active Ugandan who has been closely following the constitutional, human rights and rule of law trends in the country since his secondary school.

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