Next NIRA Boss Should Have an IT Background, Museveni

H.E. President Yoweri Museveni in a May 18th, 2020 letter to Hon. Jeje Odongo; the Minister of Internal Affairs directs him to find a new Executive Director with legal and information technology background be identified to head the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) when Ms. Judy Obitre Gama leaves office.

“I have been informed that the contract of the current executive director is due to expire. Given the problems faced by NIRA especially relating to the issuance of national identity cards, there is need to identify a new executive director preferably with a legal or Information Technology background. I am, therefore directing you to work with the Board of Directors of NIRA and identify a suitable candidate. Consult me, before a final decision is reached on the matter,” Mr Museveni writes.

Ms. Gama, lawyer by profession has held the office since 2015 has been bogged with several issues of corruption, poor performance and incompetence, allegations in the issuance and replacement of national identity cards to its people. Some people who applied for IDs three to four years ago have not received them.

Under her regime, the authority has also been accused of flouting procurement procedures during the exercise that was carried out in primary and secondary schools across the country during the national ID student’s enrollment exercise.

The auditor general said NIRA had led to the loss of UGX2.7bn after purchasing overpriced 2,000 laptops and 6,000 laptop batteries with only 350 batteries delivered. Ms. Gama then handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department for investigations after failing to provide evidence of the use of government resources.

Mr. James Biribonwa; former commissioner at Electoral Commission was appointed by Museveni in Feb. as NIRA board chairman, and he will help push the authority to be effective as well help Odongo in search of a new executive director for the authority.

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