Human Rights Network for Journalists & Another v Attorney General CP No 25 of 2018

Case Brief

The petition challenges sections 7, 9 (3),11 (2), (3) & (4), 13, 14 (5), 16 (4)(d), 46 (2), 60 (5), 61(b), 63(2) & (4), 67(1)(f ) &(2), 72(1) & (2) (c), of the Uganda Communications Act No. 1 of 2013 as contravening Articles 29(1), 21 26,28(12),42 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, thereby undermining the right to freedom of expression, the freedom of the press and other media


These sections of the Uganda Communications Act No.1 give the Minister of Information and Communication Technology wide unfettered power to interfere with the operations of the Uganda Communications Commission, contrary to Section 8 of the same law, which provides that the Commission shall exercise its functions independently of any persons or body. These sections of the fore mentioned Act place disproportionate power in the hands of the Minister leaving the Commission dependent on government and, it is because of this disproportionate power that the Minister has issued several policy directives to the Uganda Communications Commission in the recent past that impede the freedom of expression, and the freedom of the Press for instance In the last two years; the Uganda Communications Commission has effortlessly shut down social media and mobile money, banned live broadcasts of parliamentary proceedings and demonstrations, and temporarily closed some radio and television stations in moves that are widely politically motivated, impeding the right of freedom of expression and freedom of press and other media as enshrined in the Constitution.