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Parliament Approves Tracking Of Vehicles

Parliament has given the green light for Government to start the implementation of tracking of cars as a measure to fight criminality in Uganda.

This followed a report by the Joint Committee of Parliament including the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee as well as the Physical Infrastructure Committee that recommended the implementation of the Intelligent Transport Monitoring System in order to enhance crime management through detecting, identifying and recognising all vehicles and motorcycles operating in the country.

While presenting the Committee’s report, Robert Kasolo, (Ik Ik County) noted, “Based on our analysis, the system will significantly improve the vehicle database, streamline the transport sector, enhance the CCTV system, and improve road safety and security in the country.”

It should be recalled that following the gruesome killings committed by criminals around the country moving in unidentified vehicles and motorcycles in 2018, President Museveni presented ten measures that the government was going to undertake to fight the escalating crime among which included smart number plates and a Smart Tracking System for motor vehicles and motorcycles countrywide.

 

The Ministry of Security identified a Russian company, JSC Security Company to implement the ITMS project which is an intelligent safe city system based on software that stores information about vehicles and owners, analyses traffic flow through special equipment and checks vehicles’ legitimacy.

According to Government, the total investment by the private investor would amount to USD 257,033,822.93 about (Shs958.121Bn) and the money is said to cater for capital investments for acquiring cameras, speed radars, smart registration plates, electronic devices, control room and software.

The government will provide the land on which the facility’s headquarters will be set up and no financial investments or guarantees will be required from Government and the contract is expected to run for ten years and the project’s expected revenue is approximately US$97M4 from speeding violations, traffic fines and penalties, sale of digital registration plate fees.

During the debate, lawmakers raised issues on the system with Sarah Opendi (DWR Tororo) wondering why Government agreed to have the rates charged in dollars including US$100 for existing number plates, US$200 for those acquiring new number plates, US$42 for new cars tracker device, US$14 tracker device for existing number plates and US$21 replacement of number plates due to damages.

She said, “We must be proud of our country, we must be proud of our currency. Why do you bring a report here talking about dollars as if we don’t have our own currency? When I am paying for my vehicle number plate, I pay in shillings, so why do you come here bringing costs in dollars while aware that the dollar keeps fluctuating?”

Opendi also castigated Government for failing to conduct a due diligence on the Russian company and declining to produce before Parliament a copy of the agreement, citing confidentiality clauses, saying such actions depict Uganda as a trial ground for companies.

“If we are talking about value for money, we need to know where this company has ever implemented this project. it isn’t just about the existence of the company, but where has it implemented this project? Uganda shouldn’t be a trial ground for companies to come and do their projects here and at the end of the day, after wasting time and resources these projects collapse. Look at the cameras which were installed, how effective are these cameras? Even if it is a security matter, but solicit bids from competent companies,” added Opendi.

 

 

 

Although Jessica Ababiku (DWR Adjumani) welcomed the system but called for enhancement of the oversight of the project but protested the decision to have the costs borne by motorists.

 

“The oversight over this project must be enhanced to ensure that this country gets what it deserves. I am concerned about increase of costs to be incurred in getting services. Tax payers are overburdened, vehicles, motorcycles are going to take people to work and we are talking about increasing costs,” said Ababiku.

Jim Muhwezi, Minister of Security revealed that the project will start with government vehicles and called on MPs to support the project so as to enhance security of people in Uganda and their property because the project has already started its implementation.

He said, “We can’t sit back, we have responsibility for security, if the Committee hasn’t completed, we can’t compromise security, it is going on leave.

Attorney General, Kiwanuka Kiryowa confirmed that his office perused through the agreement.

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