ID Project Is Sensitive To National Security –M7


Museveni, troche in a statement released a few hours ago, visit web describes claims by the Kampala newspaper that billions of shillings have been wasted in the project as fallacious.

“The claims published by the Monitor Newspaper of Tuesday 29th November, under the headline, “Firm given billions, makes only 400 IDs”, and those published in the subsequent issue of Wednesday 30th November, 2011 under the headline, “Fresh rot revealed in national ID deal”, are totally fallacious, writes Museveni.

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“Similarly, the accusations levelled against the President in the same articles, are not only outrageous and alarming, they have been deliberately twisted to serve the paper’s own malicious interests,” Museveni adds.

According to Museveni, there is need for clarification “on some of the issues raised in these stories, by providing comprehensive information to Ugandans so that they are fully informed.”

The President writes: “The National Identity Card Project is part and parcel of the National Security Information Systems Project (NSIS). This project was launched by Government in March last year, as part of its efforts to establish critical infrastructure for identity management.”

“The NSIS Project under the Justice, Law and Order Sector, in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is being implemented by the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control. All procurement regarding this project is classified, since it is of a highly sensitive national security nature,” Museveni notes.

“This in no way implies that HE The President single-handedly contracted the firm, Muhlbauer Technology Group, to do the job,” he adds.

Museveni says the NSIS Project consists of three sub-projects namely: the establishment of a personalization and data centre sub-project, the mass enrolment of the population sub-project and the issuance of national identity cards sub-project. The total amount of funds required for the full implementation of the project is Shs100billion, he elaborates.

“For the financial year 2010/2011 Shs600million was secured. This leaves a huge funding gap for the 2011/2012 year. The project is, by 2014, expected to have established a national data bank providing, at the click of a button, national information on biometrics, education, health, birth, death, economic performance, taxation, tourism etc in the country,” he stresses.

Contrary to the Monitor Newspaper claims that nothing has been done since the project was launched, a number of significant activities have been carried out, says Museveni.

“These include the procurement of 4,000 mobile data enrolment units, the training of 8,000 data capture operators and the procurement of 1,000 generators (mobile power suppliers). In addition, 87 servers for data collection have been procured and 100,000 virgin cards, on which biometric particulars are printed, have been received and stored at the Bank of Uganda. A Pilot Personalization Data Centre has been established and the design for the national identity card completed,” he adds.

“Using the Pilot Data Centre, the biometrics of five million people have been captured and are awaiting printing of their cards. On enabling legislation, the Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control (Registration of Citizens and Issuance of National Identity Numbers and National Identity Cards) Regulations S.1 No. 16 of 2011 have been gazzetted and published,” says Museveni.

The President further stresses contrary to the impression of sleaze and inefficiency that the Monitor wants to associate with this important Government project, the project’s biggest curtailing factor is shortage of funds.

“Despite our financial squeeze, noteworthy achievements outlined above indicate Government resolve to successfully implement this project,” he adds.

In a parting shot, Museveni charges: “The Monitor Newspaper should always seek to provide unbiased reports. It should not, in the interest of fairness, succumb to the temptation to twist information to the benefit of certain audiences.”


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