Internal Affairs Minister Kahinda Otafiire has accused unnamed officials of hiding his letter to President Yoweri Museveni raising concerns about the digital number plate project.
In a letter to the Committee on Physical Infrastructure, Otafiire said he wrote to Museveni in 2019 expressing his reservations about the project, which is being implemented by a Russian company, Joint Stock Company Global Security.
Otafiire said he was concerned about the high cost of the project, which he estimated to be at least $100 million. He also said he was worried that the project would sideline the Uganda Police Force, which is responsible for traffic management.
Otafiire said he has not received a reply to his letter, and he suspects that it may have been hidden from Museveni.
“I doubt whether the President received that communication,” Otafiire said.
The digital number plate project has been mired in controversy since its inception. In 2020, it was revealed that the Russian company had no experience in manufacturing digital number plates. The company has also been accused of overpricing the project.
Otafiire’s letter is the latest indication of growing concerns about the digital number plate project. In recent weeks, several MPs have called for the project to be scrapped.
It remains to be seen whether Museveni will order an investigation into Otafiire’s allegations. However, the fact that a senior minister is accusing unnamed officials of hiding his letter is a serious matter. It raises questions about the transparency and accountability of the government.
In addition to the concerns raised by Otafiire, there are also concerns about the security of the digital number plates. The plates are equipped with chips that can be used to track the movement of vehicles. Some experts have warned that this could pose a privacy risk.
The digital number plate project is a major undertaking that is expected to cost billions of shillings. It is important that all of the concerns about the project are addressed before it is implemented.