News & Up­dates:

Security Minister Major Gen. Jim Muhwezi and his Works and Transport counterpart, Gen. Katumba Wamala have appeared before legislators probing the implementation of the intelligent transport monitoring system by M/S Joint-stock Company Global Security.

The Ministers defended the legality of the Russian company, with Muhwezi telling MPs that the company was out sourced under non-competitive bidding.

During the meeting, the Government tabled the agreement between the Russian company and Uganda, company profile, articles and memoranda of association of the company and registration certificate of the company in Uganda. Gen. Katumba, however, requested the committee not to make it public.

Among the issues that had been raised by Members of Parliament included the failure to follow the procurement processes, issues to do with privacy, who should incur the costs of installing the trackers, the cost of the devices among others.

The government on 23rd July 2021 signed a contract with a Russian Company to provide digital trackers to all vehicles in the country.

At a ceremony held on 23rd July 2021 at the Office of the President in Kampala, Waiswa Bageya the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport and Yunus Kakande from the office of the President signed on behalf of the Government while Ivan Sukraban, the Chief Executive Officer of Joint Stock Company, a Russian digital security company signed on its behalf.

On whether due was process was followed, Muhwezi told the committee that the Government did due diligence by visiting the company, talking to clients in countries who had procured services from the Russian firm and established that the company was competent.

He added that every process followed was technical and effectively done.

Regarding who should pay for the service, Muhwezi insisted that Ugandans should pay for the service as they have already been paying for number plates, insurance and import taxes on vehicles.

This was, however, rejected by a sector of MPs who demanded that the Government should incur the cost given the importance of the matter.

Responding to issues to do with privacy, Wamala allayed fears by stating that the trackers will operate like the cameras only being activated for criminal related challenges with privacy respected.

On the timeframe for implementing the initiative, the Chief Licensing Officer of Motor vehicles at the Ministry of Works, Winstone Katushabe assured the Committee that there would be a transitional process between the current number plates.

He also allayed the fears of the high cost of the digital number plates saying that the prices will be considered.

The delegation also informed the House that the Russian firm contracted to install tracking devices in motor vehicles and motorcycles will manufacture the devices within Uganda.