BUMPER HARVEST: Russian Company to Milk Over Shs150bn from Ugandan Car Owners, Bodaboda Riders in Juicy Digital Number Plates Deal
Controversial Russian firm Joint Stock Company Global Security will earn over Shs150bn from Ugandan car and motorcycle (bodaboda) owners for the upgrade to new digital number plates under the Intelligent Transport Monitoring System (ITMS).
Spearheaded by the ministries of security, and that of works and transport, the ITMS was launched in Kampala on November 01. Under the project, all Ugandan vehicles will be fitted with Electronic Number Plates.
Security minister Maj Gen (Rtd) Jim Muhwezi said the different categories of number plates provided for under the Traffic and Road Safety (Registration Plates) Regulations 2023 will improve the registration of vehicles under all government ministries, departments and agencies due to the unique codes given to each.
Selected vehicles belonging to the Office of The President, Uganda Police Force (UPF) and Ministry of Works and Transport were selected for the launch of the ITMS Project. Full rollout of the exercise is expected to commence on February 01, 2024.
Officials from both transport and security ministries agreed that “the benefits of this system (ITMS) and the new registration plates to the people of Uganda hinge on direct benefits like national security, safety and control of motor vehicle-relater criminality in the country.”
“The ITMS Project will deter theft of motor vehicles and vehicle related criminality through enhanced traceability, tracking and real-time feedback from the Police Command Center. It will discourage reckless driving due to monitoring through the CCTV Camera network enhancing enforcement,” said Gen Katumba Wamala, the works and transport minister.
COST ON UGANDANS
Every Ugandan who owns a car will pay Shs150,000 to Russian firm Joint Stock Company Global Security to have his or her current number plate replaced and a new digital or electronic number plate planted.
Bodaboda riders or owners will have to part with Shs50,000 each for the installation of a new number plate.
As of May 2023, figures from the Ministry of Works and Transport indicated that Uganda had 1,820,474 vehicles. Of these, 1,184,651 are motorcycles (most of them commercial motorcycles known as bodabodas) and the rest are cars.
This means that the Russian company will earn a little over Shs59bn from motorcycles and a little over Shs95bn from cars.
And there will be more to harvest from Ugandans. Each new number plate, say for a new vehicle, will cost Shs714,000.
It should be remembered that the awarding of the juicy digital number plates deal to the Russian company was as controversial as it was suspicious. First, when its details came out they were as shocking as the revelation that the company was bankrupt. (See Details Here, There and Over There).
Then the questionable but juicy multi-billion deal led to an ugly fight between two of Museveni’s ministers, both former bush war fighters. One of the ministers even claimed that the mafia at State House had hidden a letter he wrote to Museveni exposing the dirt in the digital number plates’ deal. (See Details Here and There).
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