For several years, United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees UNHCR was registering refugees in their database.
Government of Uganda and indeed the Department of Refugees did not have a centralized database,
The Department of Refugees in 2014 developed the RIMS and this was launched by the Minister.
Since 2015, UNHCR has fought to have this responsibility of registration back, but has failed and by Law the Refugee Regulations 2010 rests this responsibility with OPM-DOR.
The latest attempt is by the UN complaining that due to the RIMS, there are food losses incurred by Word food program (WFP).
This is false as Office of the Prime Minister (OPM)is not involved in food and cash distribution, WFP with its partner Samaritan’s Purse are responsible. OPM stops at producing food logs which are verified and approved by UNHCR before, transmission to WFP.
The biometric system being proposed now by UNHCR, (worth $ 8m) relays information to the UNHCR server in Geneva (Against Laws of Uganda) and OPM/Government will have access to a read only copy. On the contrary RIMS enhancement is to cost $4m. (The biggest problem is here dear Ugandans)
NITA (Uganda) audited RIMS and gave it a clear bill of health. ID4 Africa conference in Namibia last year applauded RIMS.
RIMS is meant to talk to Immigration, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), National Information Registration Authority (NIRA), Banks and most importantly Security.
My simple Question is why does UNHCR want (so badly) to host our refugee data base in Geneva?
Allowing this database to be hosted and taken to Geneva, with no control by Government of Uganda is not only surrendering sovereignty but a serious security concern.