Govt to borrow Shs400 billion to facilitate installation of CCTV cameras

SECURITY | The Cabinet has approved the government’s quest to borrow $104,022,277 (about Shs395 billion) to finance the National Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras Network Expansion project.

This was revealed this morning by the Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Frank Tumwebaze, who was addressing a news briefing at Uganda Media Centre, where he broke down details of how the money, to be borrowed from Standard Chartered Bank, will be spent.

According to Tumwebaze, the funds would be used for designing and building the main command and control centre, as well as the mobile and regional command and control centres.

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“The money would go into video surveillance through the installation of CCTV cameras across the country as well as installation of integrated communication platforms,” Tumwebaze said.

“The money will also go into the integration of case management systems face recognition software, DNA as well as development of data centre with disaster recovery sites, installation of required network infrastructure and also train staff in all the relevant system and operation and maintenance of the system.”

Museveni’s directive

The issue of CCTV cameras have always been itchy for President Museveni at every assassination of high-profile personalities in the country. Museveni believes surveillance cameras are the solution to fighting crime.

On March 19 last year while attending the vigil of former Police spokesperson Felix Kaweesi in Kampala, Museveni ordered for installation of cameras across major town in the country, arguing that technology was a major move away from rudimentary methods used in investigations.

Kaweesi was gunned by assailants on March 17, 2017, while leaving his home in Kulambiro. Since then, other high profile personalities murdered in Kampala, including MP Ibrahim Abiriga, a daughter of a prominent businessman Susan Magara, and Police boss Mohammed Kirumira, who was gunned down on Saturday.

Museveni has reiterated his desire for CCTV cameras to be installed in major towns across the country at each turn of tragic events. So much has he called for the surveillance cameras that it almost become  creed he professes.

In August, Police confirmed that 900 CCTV cameras of the first batch of the 5,552 had been delivered by Huawei Technologies, a Chinese firm.

According to the information from Police, the cameras will be imported in phases for the two-year project and a National Command Centre will be constructed in Naguru, a Kampala suburb, starting in October.

The debate on installing CCTV Cameras started in September 2013, by former Internal Affairs minister Aronda Nkyakayirima after the Boston bombing where the President ordered for installation of cameras saying that although the human being are the first sources of information, they may fail to see crime take place, something CCTV Cameras are capable of capturing.

At the time, government said a Chinese firm had been procured because the cameras on the market were more expensive than the Chinese items.

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