Friday July 13 2018

Lawyers condemn ISO raid on MTN centre

Col (Rtd) Frank Kaka Bagyenda, t

Col (Rtd) Frank Kaka Bagyenda, the Director General of the Internal Security Organisation, speaks to journalists recently. PHOTO BY MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU 

By ANTHONY WESAKA

Kampala. The Uganda Law Society (ULS) has condemned as old-fashioned and unacceptable the recent raid on MTN Uganda data centre by Internal Security Organisation (ISO) operatives.
In a press statement yesterday, the lawyers said the act is a distressing reminder of the dark days of gun rule in the country.
“The era of accessing information at gun point is long past. The NRM government has prided itself on its ability to ensure that security agencies do not misuse the gun or turn the gun against people,” the statement reads in part.
“Accessing the MTN data centre with no court order but instead using guns is unacceptable. Remembering our history, ISO should avoid the behaviour and conduct of the former State Research Bureau,” the statement added.
In a July 3 letter to ISO, MTN said heavily armed security officers; allegedly from ISO, on July 2 raided one of its data centres in Mutundwe, a Kampala suburb, and disconnected four servers.

Kidnap case
The telecom said the raid also saw the kidnap of Mr Moses Keefah Musasizi, a data facilities manager at Huawei Uganda, who is also responsible for physical access to the MTN IT data centre.
However, in a press briefing on Monday, Mr Charles Mbire, the chairman MTN Uganda, said the clients’ data was secure despite the raid.
“The efforts were unsuccessful because of robust information security systems and no data was accessed or compromised by the intruders,” Mr Mbire said.
The lawyers also condemned the parading of suspects before the press by the ISO, Col Frank Bagyenda.
The suspects, who were accused of subversive activities, are said to belong to Opposition party Forum for Democratic Change.
“ULS has long opposed the practice of parading suspects because the exercise is of no legal value and erodes the presumption of innocence,” the lawyers stated.
They urged government to denounce the attack on MTN and also decisively deal with the particular individuals who broke the law in the arrest/kidnap of MTN employees and illegally accessed their data centre.

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