By Esther Oluka
The contested digital motor vehicle number project was launched yesterday several months behind schedule, with the first phase targeting government-owned vehicles. The ministries of Works and Trans- port and Security are overseeing the project.
Speaking at the launch, Works and Transport minister Gen Edward Katumba Wamala said a decision was taken in the last week of October to launch the exercise,despite some of the project components not being ready.
“It was agreed that issuance of the new registration plates commences with the government vehicles so that we live by example,”Gen Katumba said at the event held at the Works ministry.
“A cross-section of government vehicles belonging to the Office of the President, Uganda Police, and the Ministry of Works and Transport have been selected to be issued with the number plates today,” he added.
A demonstration was then done in real-time with a technical team first verifying the details of one of the government vehicles parked on the premises before its old number plate was re- moved and replaced with the new digital number plate.
Gen Katumba said the issuing of new licence plates for non-government vehicles is expected to start on February 1. New vehicle and motorcycle owners will pay Shs714,000 while exchanging existing plates will cost Shs150,000 for motor vehicles and Shs50,000 for motorcycles.
If a motorist fails to install a digital number plate, they will be liable to pay a fine of up to Shs2m or serve a one year jail term.
“By then, most of the things will be in place including having educated the public more about the system so that the fear of the unknown, anxiety, and unanswered questions will be answered by the time we get to 2024,” he said.
The minister said the original start date of July 1 was missed due to several challenges, including logistical delays.