The Director for Civil Litigation Martin Mwambutsya writing on behalf of the Solicitor General has petitioned the Deputy Registrar of the High Court saying that government is not ready for hearing of the case challenging its decision to install tracking devices in all vehicles.
The June 29th 2021 decision which requires government to be monitoring the movement and location of each vehicle was challenged by lawyer Male Mabirizi on Monday this week.
This was on grounds that Cabinet acted outside its mandate affecting Ugandan’s right to privacy without an Act of Parliament through which citizens can be able to ascertain whether the limitations are demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society.
The government revealed that the devices which are to be introduced as one of the ways to reduce criminality in the country will be paid for at the cost of each car owner.
But Mabirizi argues that government had entered into contract with a Russian firm Global Systems LLC to supply the said devices for a period of ten years without going through the procurement processes provided for under the laws.
Mabirizi asked court to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting any Uganda Government official from implementing or acting on the strength of the Cabinet decision requiring every motor vehicle to be fitted with tracking devices at owners cost on grounds of being unconstitutional.
However ,in his letter, the Solicitor General says that Attorney General’s chambers has just been served with the above application which is fixed for hearing tomorrow but they will inform court that they are not ready to proceed.
“We have noted that the application is omnibus and requires our chambers to obtain instructions and information from a number of government institutions which include the Ministry of Security, office of the President, State House, the Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs , the Chief Registrar of Courts of Judicature, Secretary to Cabinet, Public Service Commission and consequently the time available to the first respondent is not sufficient to obtain instructions from each of the clients mentioned above and file appropriate affidavits in reply to the application,” reads the letter in part.
He adds: “This is therefore to bring to your attention that on the day the application comes up for hearing, the first respondent will move seeking for more time to file affidavits in reply so that the matter is heard on its merits and the ends of justice are met.”
Mabirizi’s omnibus application challenged five key decisions made recently by government and its arms.
The others include the decision to give members of parliament 200 million shillings each, the appointments of new permanent secretaries by President Yoweri Museveni, his decision to direct that all constructions of schools were to be done by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces and the decision by the Chief Registrar Sarah Langa requiring the Magistrates to submit their performance appraisals to their supervisors.