With the increase of crime in the past few years, the President made a directive to the security ministry to fast track the vehicle tracking deal.
This came at a time when many attacks on key security installations and government officials were being targeted by armed assailants who had already claimed the lives of many Ugandans and had attempted to assassinate other key officials, notably General Katumba Wamala, who survived an assassination though he lost his daughter and drivers in the same gunfire.
Bageya Waiswa, the Works Ministry permanent secretary, has written to the two companies currently manufacturing car plates, GM Tumpeco and Arnold Brooklyn and Company Ltd, notifying them of the termination of their contracts within the next six months.
Ministry of Works has contracted Joint Stock Company Global Security to roll out the digital surveillance car number plates.
In July 2021, the Permanent Secretaries of the Works and Transport Ministries and the Presidency Ministries signed an MoU with Joint Stock Company Global Security executives for a 10-year deal.
The deal involves installing tracking GPS chips in all motor vehicles on Ugandan roads, which will require re-registration of all vehicles.
The first phase will involve the production and issuance of the new vehicle registration plates, and this is scheduled to commence on July 1st, 2023, according to PS Waiswa.
The first phase of the project, dubbed the Intelligent Transport Management System (ITMS)—a digital monitoring and tracking system of motor vehicles and motorcycles in the country—will cover all vehicles.
This is expected to start on July 1 with new cars coming into the country before being rolled out to cars already on the road.
The second phase will involve making beacon-equipped license plates to cover all new vehicles on the road.
The third phase of the project will cover new digital plates to replace all ordinary plates currently on the road.
Waiswa said the ministry has already issued new registration plate regulations that guide for an inbuilt sensor embedded in a registration plate to be synchronized with an electronic device installed in the motor vehicle.
The device is capable of indicating the real-time location of the motor vehicle and detecting unauthorised removal.
The regulations exempt tracking chips from vehicles belonging to diplomatic missions, UN agencies, the presidential motorcade, or any other special purpose vehicle as the Works Minister may prescribe.