The Ugandan government has signed a 10 year agreement with Joint Stock Company Global Security, a Russian firm that will see the later install tracking devices in all public and private vehicles and motorcycles in the country.
Dubbed the intelligent transport monitoring system, the deal will also see tracking devices installed in water vessels on all the country’s water bodies.
The Permanent Secretaries for the Ministry of Works and Ministry for Presidency signed the agreement on behalf of the Ugandan government whereas the Security Minister, Gen Jim Muhwezi witnessed the signing.
Speaking at the signing ceremony held on Friday afternoon at the office of the president in Kampala, Security Minister, Gen Jim Muhwezi hailed the agreement as one that will help deal with the security problem for the country.
“It will provide government with a digital system that will monitor our vehicles in the country. It will enable us use artificial intelligence to back up other measures in place to be able to provide the country with security,”Muhwezi said.
Allaying fears of invasion of privacy, the Security Minister said the system will only be used for security purposes and nothing else.
“I would like to assure everybody that the system will not interest itself in private matters of all motor vehicle users. The purpose is only security. With this system, once there is a security situation, we will be able to tell which vehicle was in that place. If there is no security problem, no one will be interested. There should be no worry of intrusion in privacy of motor vehicle users until there is a situation,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Presidency, Yunus Kakande said the deal will run for 10 years.
President Museveni first hinted at the program of installing digital monitors to all vehicles and motorcycles following the gruesome murder of Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga.
In the security masterplan he unveiled to parliament, the president said the move will augment other measures like installation of CCTV cameras and gun fingerprinting aimed at resolving the rampant murders especially of prominent persons in the country’s urban centres.
Last month, the president directed the State Minister for Internal Affairs, Gen David Muhoozi to oversee the project.
He noted that a portion of the budget has been set aside to fund this cause.
“Every vehicle and motorcycle must have a centralized digital monitor. If you try to remove it, we shall go for you. It will show us where you are at any one time. As soon as there is a crime, we go. I don’t want any wasting time in investigations,” Museveni said on Thursday.
“I have told Gen David Muhoozi to check what has happened to that plan. We would not be wasting time on who was there.”
According to the president, the digital monitors will not be used to abuse people’s privacy but noted they would be come in handy in case of a crime that security will trace all vehicles and boda bodas who were in the vicinity of the crime scene.
“The digital monitor will show us where you are. We are not interested in your clandestine activities. As soon there is crime, we wouldn’t be wasting time to investigate,” he said.