The government in Uganda is embarking on a mission to install city spy cameras in the Kampala Metroplitan Area for a total cost of $104 million. Parliament has since approved the government's request to get a loan of $104 million.
The area that is to be covered by the CCTV cameras includes Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono Districts. The approval to the request was made by the Committee on National Economy. Members of Parliament had debated a report on this matter by this committe, chaired by Ms Syda Bbumba.
She asserted that it will take 12 years to repay the loan, at an annual interest rate of 5%. However, this matter has left some MPs divided.
Some MPs are saying that this loan is not necessary, as it just adds to the country's continuous accumulation of loans. They say that this plan is way too expensive.
"I am not in support of the approval of the loan because it is an expensive venture where we are going to spend $86m (Shs319.7b) on the project whereas the balance will be taken back in the loan terms," said Mr Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West, DP).
There some cameras previoulsy installed, but are not working. 446 of the 1,300 cameras already installed in the first phase that was implemented last year are not working, so there is no need to add more, according to Ugandan MPs.
Others are saying that the cameras should be installed outside Kampala to curb accidents in highways.
Mr Latif Ssebagala, an independent MP, said, "There is need for a reduction on the taxes on the importation of private cameras. What is happening now is that one must have a minimum of Shs10m to install camera. Government cameras will not be everywhere, so we need to work with the private people to fight crime."
This is such an expensive plan that needs careful planning and monitoring of funds.
Header image credit - Egyptian Streets