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Uganda: Government Again Promises National IDs By 2013


“Much as the process has been slow, we must appreciate the sensitivity, security matters involved and the hardships the company is going through,” Mr Nyombi said.

However committee chairman Paula Turyahikayo sounded serious warning to the ministry to avoid playing cat and mouse games with Ugandans. “We have heard enough stories, we need our IDs, and also urgently need to see advertising done for a project manager,” Ms Turyahikayo said.

She added; “Next time we shall put you on oath and am sure you know the repercussions of oath, no more jokes here.” A whistle blower in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, according to the committee members has indicated that some officials in the ministry are conniving to inflate the costs of the project.

Ms Turyahikayo tasked Dr Kagoda to appear on today to clarify which officials are involved in inflating the costs. Meanwhile the committee tasked the Ministries to produce immediately the project roadmap, quarterly budgets leading to the final date in 2013, the national IDs policy and also to employ a project manager.

Government in 2010 hastily procured a German firm Mühlbauer Technology Group allegedly outside official procurement methods at the behest of President Museveni. The company which first promised to have all Ugandans get cards in one year has since produced for only 400 top government officials, despite down payments to produce at least 21 million cards.

Muhlbauer Technology has since received $47m (about Shs115 billion at current exchange rates) out of the $64m project and they currently demand another Shs100billion funding.

Mr Thembo said the arithmetic that only 400 cards can be produced each year is false because the first year hasn’t been easy for the firm. In their appearance before the committee however, the two Ministries; Internal Affairs and ICT failed to agree on which ministry owns the ID project.

National Information Technology Authority boss Mr James Saaka told Parliament that for all Ugandans, presumed to be 33million to get National IDs would cost Shs118billion. The amount of money cited puts the total amount required at about Shs337 billion, more than five times what it cost Kenya and Tanzania to provide ID cards even when they have far larger populations than Uganda, writes Sheila Naturinda of The Daily Monitor

Committee demands:

– National ID roadmap

– Quarterly budget up to 2013

– National ID policy

– Employ a project manager

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