A top manager for the implementation of the digital number plate project has resigned from his position, according to latest sources.
Andrew Muhangi, the project manager in charge of motor vehicle registration in the Ministry of Works has resigned from the Intelligent Transport Monitoring System project management team and tendered his resignation to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport.
According to the June 13, 2023 resignation, also copied to the three ministers of Works and Transport, Muhangi says he had reached the tipping point it is only prudent that he resigns from the project management team of the Intelligent Transport Monitoring System which is set to be issuing the digital number plates.
He has since asked to be redeployed from the position of project manager in charge of motor vehicle registration.
“As indicated in my previous memos, I have received a lot of pressure to facilitate and carry out illegal financial arrangements, including inflating a contract to the tune of shs1 billion, in a manner that would constitute corruption. I shared details with you in private and hopefully action will one day be taken. Although I declined to do so, the pressure and threats resulting from these sorts of demands have made it impossible for me to execute my duties professionally and to the best of my abilities,” he said in his resignation letter.
He said he has continued to face undue informal interference “from some political leaders and senior officials “with the intention of influencing professional decisions at the project in a manner that he said would be unprofessional.
“I have brought these to your attention and I am hopeful action will be taken. The resultant effect if I compromise is that I will be in jail or dead. Not to mention that my reputation and integrity will be at stake and I will not be able to live with myself.”
He says these are complex matters to resolve and sometimes the evidentiary level required to act is hard to attain.
“Nevertheless, I feel that in the absence of a higher degree of support from management, I am constrained to continue in my current position, especially as some political leaders continue to issue threats should their interests not be granted.”
The member of the project management team for the Intelligent Transport Monitoring System says he has faced a number of death threats resulting from the issues addressed above and says he feels he cannot continue serving in the position.
Muhangi however says he is proud of the achievements in the period he has served in the position, mentioning the successful transition from the Uganda Revenue Authority(URA) to the Ministry of Works and Transport.
“I have served in this capacity diligently and I am proud to be the pioneer project manager. In this time, I achieved the successful transition from URA to the Ministry of Works and Transport which included managing the seconded staff from the URA in a seamless manner. I also successfully oversaw the recruitment and training of contract staff under the Ministry of Works and Transport,” he said, adding that he helped carry out project planning, management, monitoring and evaluation of motor vehicle regulation.
He however says despite the numerous achievements, he feels it is best for him to resign.
“As I wait for formal communication on who takes over, I have in the interim tasked Mr Muwonge Anthony to be caretaker project manager until the official handover to the new designated Project Manager is done. I pledge to provide all the support required to the new project manager for the good of the nation. As I mentioned earlier, I am a consummate professional who can work anywhere.”
Contacted for a comment on the matter, the Ministry of Works Permanent Secretary Waiswa Bageya referred this website to the ministry spokesperson.
The ministry spokesperson, Suzan Kataike said she was not privy to the said resignation letter.
Last month, the Internal Affairs Minister, Gen Kahinda Otafiire warned against the digital number plates deal by Russian company, M/S Joint Stock Company Global Security.
The Internal Affairs Minister told MPs on the Physical Infrastructure Committee of Parliament that a benchmark report by police indicated that the Russian company’s system was not in use in any other country in the world, adding that claims by the company that it will be printing the number plates from Poland is untenable.
“The first time I got to know about this project other than the press was when Mr Wavamuno(Gordon) wrote to me complaining about the shutdown of his business in favour of Joint Stock and was suggesting they could work jointly.”
The minister said he later called the Permanent Secretary for Internal Affairs Ministry who said he didn’t know about the digital number plates deal.
“It is then I wrote to the president and suggested it would be a good idea if the Russian company worked with current number plate manufacturers in Uganda and explored the possibility of installing chips in Uganda. I got a report about police officers who went to do due diligence about the company in Russia who highlighted that what they saw was a system for large fleet management that it has never been enrolled anywhere in the world and that Russia itself does use that system,” Otafiire said.
He explained that the current frosty relations between Russia and Poland over the war in Ukraine might not allow a Russian company to print the number plates in Poland.
“The team wanted to visit the factory and were told that it was in Poland and as far as I am concerned Poland is technically at war with Russia and any Russian company operating within NATO is under sanctions. I was wondering how we are going to implement this project in these circumstances. Unless otherwise, if those pushing this project can explain how this is going to be implemented, I have nothing more to add.”
The minister insisted that the Minister for Internal Affairs under whom Police are going to implement the project has never been consulted about the digital number plate deal.
“I don’t know them and I haven’t seen anybody from Global Security and I have never talked to anyone.