On 01st March 2021, the Uganda Driving License System (UDLS) officially started the production and issuance of Driving Licenses. This was formerly done by Face Technologies, a South African company whose contract had expired but wasnot renewed by the government of Uganda.
UDLS is run by Uganda Security Printing Company (USPS) which is under the direct supervision of the Office of the President and Ministry of Presidency headed by Hon Babirye Milly Babalanda.
Government engaged Uganda Security Printing Company , which partnered with Veridos, a Germany company, to produce the permits and agreed to retain the staff who were working with Face Technologies. This was a good and wise decision to retain the staff who would rather have been rendered jobless if it had been decided otherwise.
Minister Babalanda who supervises a number of government agencies under the Presidency, since her appointment has been so emphatic on delivery of fast and quality services to Ugandans. She has also severally issued communication to them including the Resident District/City Commissioners (RDCs/RCCs) against engaging in corruption activities arguing that Ugandans deserve the best service without bribing their way. This has been a tough message from her at every public appearance and in most of her communication.
The soft speaking and calm woman from Busoga has indeed exhibited high levels of intolerance against the corrupt and lazy civil servants. On May 18th 2022, while officiating at the ground breaking for the Uganda Security Printing Company (USPC) factory at Entebbe, she sounded a tough warning to the staff and those present that whoever procures substandard equipment for the establishment would not be spared but arrested. When completed, the factory estimated to cost 41 bn shillings will be producing security documents like National IDs, Passports, Driving Licenses, Academic certificates, land titles and other documents. She added that this factory will also solve the longstanding challenge of printing forged documents.
The company now issuing driving licenses is housed at the Uganda Railways Station on Nasser Road in Kampala. Recently I realized late that my driving license had expired long ago. So on Wednesday 25th May 2022, I decided to have it renewed. I expected to go through a tedious long process as it had been when this service was at Kyambogo by Face Technologies. I paid the fees in Diamond Trust Bank and then rushed to the UDLS offices at Uganda Railways Station. I found well-dressed private security officers who welcomed everyone coming in and checking their documents to ensure they are in the right place. In a few minutes, after going through the security checks, I was allowed inside with the few people I met in the line. I handed in my bank payment receipt to the lady at the first table who then directed us to the next room where we where given an application number and another small paper. Again in a few minutes, we were ushered into a room where four people were allowed in at a time. The staff there took photographs of the applicants and guided on the next steps. After 15 minutes, I was called on a counter and handed a new driving license. The whole process at the offices took less than 40 minutes. This was so amazing if one had the past experience of queuing for hours at Kyambogo during the days of Face Technologies. I loved the order, the speed, neatness and professional handling of clients exhibited by staff at the Uganda Driving License System. That you walk into the premises and you walk away with a new license. This should be emulated by all government offices especially those that serve clients in big numbers. I thought it was a one off experience but when I jumped on a boda boda , the rider asked me “ Musajja wa Kabaka Busuulwa ka system akali awo okalabye ? Singa ne ku wofiisi ya passport n’awalala bakola batyo , Uganda yandibadde nnungi nnyo”. I realized, the man managed to identify me and called me by my name because he watches my programes on BBS Terefayina. Thumbs up to the workaholic minister for the Presidency Babirye Milly Babalanda who ably supervises such entities like USPC, Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC) and others. The Managing Director of the Uganda Security Printing Company George Mugerwa, the board and all staff there should be commended for a work well done. You should not tire but consistently offer such wonderful service.
The author is a Senior Journalist in Kampala.
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org