The plan by government to digitally track vehicles has suffered an onslaught from Shadow Internal Affairs Minister, Hon Abdallah Kiwanuka and opposition MPs, who termed the move illegal.
Global Systems LLC, a security and IT systems firm, was single sourced to install digital trackers on private cars and motorcycles.
The vehicle owners are to bear the costs.
“Worryingly, the project is likely to diminish privacy of users of vehicles, and
motorcycles adorned with electronic plates in disguise of national security; the
tracking function of the plates would violate Article 27 of the Constitution of
The Republic of Uganda particularly location privacy of a person,” said Abdallah Kiwanuka.
Hon Abdallah Kiwanuka criticised plans to have car owners pay for the arrangement, saying it is unfair.
“The Minister [of Security] indicated that owners are expected to fool the bills of the installation of plate replacements on already registered vehicles and
motorcycles not the government that has initiated the project,” he said.
Hon Michael Kamugisha (NRM, Kajara County) asked government to conduct deeper research into the idea and argued against placing the burden of the cost on the taxpayer.
“I propose that government should do research and find out more…instead of spending a lot of money to track the vehicle and put the cost on the taxpayer,” he said.
MP Milton Muwuma (NRM, Kigulu South) called for the enactment of a law to guide the implementation of the project.
“I call upon the government to bring a law to operationalise this; people need to enjoy their privacy; I request the government to abandon this…if the costs were to be paid by government, it would be somehow reasonable,” he said.
The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon Mathias Mpuuga sought to move a motion without notice under the Rules of Procedure to require the Minister of Security, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi to appear before Parliament and report on the extent to which the project has been implemented so far.
Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, however, guided that the Minister should present a comprehensive statement on the matter to guide debate.
MP Hassan Kirumira (NUP, Katikamu County South) said if the information collected lands on the hands of unscrupulous people, it will be applied to their disadvantage.
The Government Chief Whip, Hon Thomas Tayebwa defended the proposal, saying only criminally minded individuals have a reason to be scared.
“If you are going to be engaged in criminal activities, be scared,” he said, adding that an otherwise law abiding citizen has nothing to worry about.
Tayebwa said Minister Muhwezi will present a statement on the matter.