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    HomeNewsNationalGovt Sets New Date for Rollout of Digital Car Number Plates

    Govt Sets New Date for Rollout of Digital Car Number Plates

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    The Minister of Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala (left), and his counterpart for Security, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, appear before MPs on the Physical Infrastructure Committee on August 8, 2023.

    The government’s digital car number plate initiative, previously suspended following intervention by the Inspectorate of Government (IGG), now has a new implementation date.

    Gen Jim Muhwezi, the Security Minister, informed the Parliament’s Infrastructure Committee that the digital plates will be launched either in October or late November. This delay resulted from unexpected “logistical challenges” faced by the project implementer, M/s Joint Stock Company Global Security (JSCGS).

    The original plan was to launch in March, then postponed to July 1, but was halted indefinitely due to the IGG’s order. Now, Gen Muhwezi confirms, “We are going to roll out the project at the beginning of November [or] at the end of October.”

    This initiative will initially target the Kampala Metropolitan Area due to the high crime rate, the Minister mentioned.

    Kampala Capital City Traders Association (Kacita) had previously raised concerns regarding the financial burden on motorists. As per the documents presented to Parliament, the registration and installation of these digital trackers will be priced at Shs714,300. Exchanging old plates will cost car owners Shs150,000 and motorcyclists Shs50,000.

    Elaborating on the project’s delay, Mr. Winstone Katushabe, the Commissioner for Transport Regulation and Safety at the Works Ministry, emphasized the government’s focus on public sensitization.

    The government has also crafted a comprehensive communication strategy to educate the public on this new system.

    In a talk with the Monitor, Gen Muhwezi stated, “Car bonds will be authorized to install the digital plates as registration is being conducted in bonds.”

    Temporary fitment facilities will be inaugurated in 10 bonded warehouses in Kampala, and mobile fitment facilities will cater to bonds lacking these temporary setups. The government plans to standardize all garages and repair facilities, ensuring all licensed garages are well-trained in managing the registration plates’ installation and removal.

    Beyond the Kampala Metropolitan Area, which will have four fitment zones, several other areas will be located near or at border points. These include locations like Jinja, Arua, Malaba, Mutukula, and more.

    Additionally, the government plans to introduce new alphabetical codes for vehicles affiliated with government departments and agencies. As Mr. Katushabe elaborated, “These new codes were informed by the fact that the alphabetic characters for identification of all MDAs were exhausted.”

    Background

    In 2019, the government collaborated with a Russian-based firm to integrate digital trackers within registration plates for vehicles and motorcycles. This move was primarily to counter the increasing crimes involving cars and motorbikes.

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