On Tuesday, August 22, 2023, Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Internal Affairs in Uganda, raised significant concerns regarding the ambitious government initiative to implement digital number plates for vehicles across the country.
Otafiire’s apprehensions revolved around various aspects of the project, including its feasibility, practicality, and potential implications. He pointed out several issues during his address, which cast doubt on the viability of the project.
However, the Security Minister Jim Muhwezi delivered a forceful response to Otafiire’s remarks. Muhwezi contradicted Otafiire’s stance by asserting that not only had Otafiire been an active participant in all the high-level cabinet meetings where the digital number plate project had been discussed, but his Ministry of Internal Affairs was also deeply involved in the actual implementation of the project.
Muhwezi’s strong rebuttal painted a different picture of Otafiire’s involvement in the project and challenged the credibility of his reservations calling him a liar.
Moreover, Muhwezi went on to dispute Otafiire’s specific claim about the Russian company chosen to handle the project. Otafiire had alleged that the Russian company had failed due diligence checks conducted by a team from the Uganda Police.
Muhwezi countered this by stating that the police team had indeed conducted a thorough due diligence assessment on the Russian company and found it to be suitable and compliant with the project’s requirements.
The government’s plan to introduce digital number plates aims to modernize vehicle identification and enhance road safety in Uganda.
The disagreement between Otafiire and Muhwezi regarding the digital number plates project highlights the complexities of implementing large-scale technological changes within a government framework.
While Otafiire expressed valid concerns about the project’s execution, Muhwezi’s response emphasizes the comprehensive nature of the project’s planning and execution, involving multiple ministries and agencies.