Uganda Finance minister, Matia Kasaija says his ministry has no money for the procurement of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras – just a few days after President Yoweri Museveni ‘ordered’ that they are installed in all major towns and along highways.
Museveni last week directed the Ministry of Finance and the police to urgently work out a plan for procurement and installation of CCTV cameras in reaction to the murder of a top police official in Kampala.
Kasaija while answering questions from journalists at the Media Centre in Kampala said there is no money for the cameras but he hastily added that the money can be got.
He said the Ministry of Internal Affairs and police were yet to hand him the cost and quantity of the CCTV cameras. Museveni’s directive has generated a mixed response from the general public and some government officials.
One of the major points of discussion is whether the country can actually afford the cost of installing the cameras given the current financial difficulties that will see most of the ministries subjected to a 10% budget cut in the coming financial year. Museveni said the installation of CCTV cameras would cost the country about Shs 400 billion.
Uganda Police Directorate of Research headed by Edward Ochom last year carried out a countrywide assessment in which it identified site locations where the cameras can be installed. Ochom could not be reached for comment about the cost and quantity of CCTV cameras required.
For Kampala, the cameras were to be installed in Kampala’s streets and neighboring towns. The Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura in a statement following Kawesi’s murder said the decision to procure and install CCTV cameras in the city, all major towns and along the highways will greatly assist police to fight and defeat criminals.
He, however, noted that the police have not been deterred by the absence of CCTV camera and other security technologies, to fight and succeed in the fight against violent thuggery.
Kayihura said police using traditional methods of criminal investigations had been able to fight the criminals. The country has since 2014 witnessed a number of murders by attackers riding on motorcycles. Those murdered in a similar manner include state prosecutor Joan Kagezi and several Muslim clerics.