March 2, 2024

Govt suspends new car number plates as contractor fails to deliver

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Government has suspended the implementation of new car digital number plates citing failure by the contractor to deliver the consignment to the works ministry.

The official announcement was made by the state minister for works and transport Hon Fred Byamukama, just a day to the enforcement date of the new number plates plan which was supposed to kick off tomorrow, Saturday, July, 1st 2023.

“The contractor has not supplied the number plates in time, but for us as the Ministry of Works, we were ready at 95 per cent to roll out the exercise. The problem is at the contractor’s side, not us,” Hon Fred Byamukama, the state minister for works confirmed on Thursday.

“The number plates are not here. We cannot strangle the contractor because he failed to deliver in time. We shall, meanwhile, continue getting number plates from the companies that have been supplying us with them because the Inspector General of Government (IGG) even halted the termination of their licences,” the minister added.

However, this publication has learnt that the Inspectorate of Government had issued an order after GM Tumpeco Ltd, a Ugandan company and its counterpart Arnold Brooklyn the current makers of the car number plates petitioned over a move to terminate their contracts as Gov’t moved on to hire a Russian firm, M/S Joint Stock Company Global Security (JSCGS) for the new plates.

“We did receive a complaint about a plan to terminate their contracts, yet they had invested heavily and were prepared to supply number plates until the end of the year. The IGG halted the cancellation of their contracts pending further investigations,” said Ms Munira Ali, the spokesperson of the government Ombudsman.

Background

M/S Joint Stock Company Global Security (JSCGS) was in 2021 handpicked by the government to supply digital number plates embedded with surveillance chips under the envisaged Intelligent Transport Monitoring System (ITMS).

This meant that GM Tumpeco who had for long been suppliers of the plates to all cars in the country running contract would have their contract lapse tomorrow, with the Russian firm taking over on Saturday, July 1, the start of the 2023/24 Financial Year.

Legislators in May this year approved the mandatory use of digital trackers on vehicles and motorcycles in the country and will see data of all driving permit holders from Face Technologies integrated with the ones of the police and Uganda Revenue Authority to help track defaulters.

This meant that car owners would have to pay Shs735,000 for the new security-enhanced motor vehicle plates, a figure way higher than what motorists in some neighbouring countries are paying for the same security features.

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