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Defence committee to probe new firm over digital national IDs

Committee chairperson Rosemary Nyakikongoro.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The committee on Defence and Internal Affairs is considering investigating a new firm contracted by the Government to print ‘smart’ and ‘digital’ national identity cards.

In 2018, the government entered into a joint venture with Veridos, a German company to set up a printing facility for digital identity documents for a period of 15 years. This comes after the expiry of the contract of Muhlbauer High Tech International, another German firm that was hired in 2010 to set up the ID printing system that is currently being used by the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to print national IDs.

While meeting officials from Muhlbauer High Tech International led by the firm’s Vice President, Matthias Karl Kohler, the defence committee chairperson, Rosemary Nyakikongoro, wondered why the government is investing in new ID machinery yet there is one that is still operational. “Why would government invest in this machinery, abandon it and go for another one? If they said Veridos is printing from here [in Uganda], do they have a factory here? So it is up to us [MPs] to get interested in finding out how far and how capable they are to do mass enrolment for the IDs,” Nyakikongoro said.

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