Recently, the Defense and Internal Affairs Committee of Parliament released its report following investigations into the botched national Identity Card project that cost the country 64 million Euros, approximately 200 billion shillings.
The NRM caucus has disagreed with cabinet over its decision to save three former ministers implicated in the botched national Identity Card project.
Those mentioned are Ali Kirunda Kivejinja, the former Internal Affairs, John Alintuma Nsambu, the former Junior ICT minister and former Attorney General Khiddu Makubuya. Also implicated is internal affairs permanent secretary Stephen Kagoda. Recently, the Defense and Internal Affairs Committee of Parliament released its report following investigations into the stalled national Identity Card project that cost the country 64 million Euros, approximately 200 billion shillings.
The legislators established that there was outright breach of procurement laws and dishonesty on the part of some senior political and technical officials involved in the project. The report pinned Kivejinja and PS Kagoda for violating procurement laws. The MPs recommended that the overall political head of the ID project take full political, financial, and administrative responsibility for the losses incurred on the project.
However, cabinet moved a proposal to exonerate the implicated officials of any wrong doing. On Tuesday, the NRM caucus met to discuss several issues, and also take a position on the committee report. David Bahati, the deputy NRM chief whip, told URN on Wednesday that the caucus resolved to support the committee report. He said that government admitted that some errors well made in the procurement process but hastened to add that all is not lost because the project is still viable.
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URN has established that Marcelino Bwesigye, the coordinator of the ID project made a presentation to the NRM caucus detailing what exactly happened. A source that attended the meeting says that Bwesigye blamed their inability to operate on lack of premises for their operations. He reportedly insisted that the project is still good and requested government to pump more funds to operationalize it.
According to the source, Hilary Onek, the Internal Affairs minister, also made a presentation detailing how the decision to single-source a contractor to produce the IDs was reached. He claimed that at the initial stage President Yoweri Museveni raised some concerns on the project. Onek explained that Museveni wanted the ministry to crosscheck the performance of Mühlbauer Technology Group, the Germany firm contracted to produce the IDs and which was doing similar work in Congo-Brazzaville.
According to Onek, Museveni also wanted to compare the services and prices of other companies, as well as consult the Public Procurement officials on the feasibility of single-sourcing. Onek reportedly told the caucus that two studies were conducted by the ministry to determine a fair price. He explained that Muhlbauer quoted at 88.3million dollars, or 64 million Euros, Face technology 94 million dollars, Contec Global 112.8 million dollars while Tanzania quoted 149 million dollars.
According to Onek, when the technical team was in Germany for an appraisal mission, a delegation from Congo Brazzaville was also visiting for the same. The Ugandan team established that in Congo Brazzaville, the company was only collecting data from the country but the cards were being printed in Germany. That's how they concluded that there was no need to visit the central African nation.
Onek says that it is on this basis that the ministry settled for Mühlbauer Technology Group. Despite the explanations offered by both officials, the MPs resolved that the implicated officials should face the law.
national id project
nrm caucus on id project