23 September 2023

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President Museveni Insists on Electronic Motor Vehicle Number Plates Despite Disagreements

2 min read
President Museveni Insists on Electronic Motor Vehicle Number Plates Despite Disagreements

President Museveni of Uganda has emphasized the importance of implementing electronic motor vehicle number plates, despite ongoing disagreements among government agencies involved in the project. The president believes that these digital number plates will significantly contribute to his crime-fighting efforts in the country.

President Museveni has expressed his determination to close the gap that criminals often exploit using motor vehicles or motorcycles to commit crimes and escape the scene. He believes that implementing electronic number plates will make it more difficult for criminals to carry out their illegal activities unnoticed. The use of surveillance cameras will increase the chances of identifying and tracking down criminals.

The digital number plate project is planned to be managed Joint Stock Company Global Security, a Russian company. It is part of Uganda’s Intelligent Transport Monitoring System (ITMS), which aims to enhance efficiency in the transportation and security sectors of the country.

Initially scheduled to start in mid-2021, the project faced delays on the contractor’s side, pushing its launch to November of this year. The transition from old number plates to digital ones will come at a cost of Shs150,000 for motor vehicles and Shs50,000 for motorcycles.

However, the project’s execution has been hindered disagreements among various government ministries and agencies responsible for its coordination. The Minister of Internal Affairs, Maj Gen (rtd) Kahinda Otafiire, admitted to lacking detailed knowledge about how the project will be implemented. He had concerns about the project’s feasibility, as the Russian company plans to produce the digital number plates in Poland, a country currently at odds with Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

Members of Parliament also voiced their apprehension regarding the security of Ugandans’ movement data, fearing that it could be misused or fall into the wrong hands. Maj Gen Otafiire directed the police to turn off the computers installed the Russian company at the police CCTV command centre, as it conflicted with the government’s contract with Huawei, the Chinese company that installed the surveillance cameras.

Despite these challenges, President Museveni remains committed to the project. However, concerns persist about the affordability of the Shs714,000 cost for a number plate, with the Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner General stating that it may burden ordinary taxpayers.

Further discussions and resolutions are necessary to address the disagreements and ensure the successful implementation of the electronic motor vehicle number plate venture in Uganda.

– Source article