Government on Friday, July 23, 2021, signed a a ten-year contract with a Russian company, Joint Stock Global Security, to install GPS trackers on all public and private vehicles, motorcycles and water vessels in the country.
Dubbed the Intelligent Transport Monitoring System, ITMS, the mandatory tracking idea was initiated by President Museveni in 2018 to end gun crime.
During the signing of the contract, Minister for Security, Gen Jim Muhwezi, said all the information collected from the system will be used only for security purposes.
To implement the system, all vehicles will be reregistered and issued with new number plates embedded with the tracking device.
“The public will be informed when each vehicle will be called to be re-registered and get new number plates. What is going to happen, the vehicles will have a monitoring system within the vehicle then there will be a digital system in the number plate so there will be communication between a monitor in the car and the number plate and the centre,” Gen Muhwezi said.
The device uses Global Positioning Systems (GPS satellites) to know the vehicle or equipment’s location at all times. The information that is gathered from the vehicle is then stored on the device inside. The data is then transmitted by using a wireless, or cellular network through providers like AT&T and Verizon. GPS Tracking tracks three separate data sets: positioning, navigation, and timing
Automobile owners will bear the cost of re-registration.
“The payment is going to be communicated. As you know always registration is not free of charge…anybody who owns a vehicle will, meet that charge…it won’t be more than usual registration of vehicle to get a number plate it will be within the means of the owners of a vehicle,” Muhwezi
The system is also expected to curb motor vehicle theft.
The Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President Hajji Yunus Kakande, said a management team will be put in place to work alongside the Russian Company to manage the system. The data will be accessible to different government entities including Uganda Police, the army among others.
Gen Muhwezi also said:”The purpose of this ITMS is only one, it is security and I would like to assure everybody that this system is not going to interest itself in the private matters of all the motor vehicle users… as you now, the boda boda motorcycles and vehicles have been a feature in all the insecurities we have witnessed recently…but we could not even using CCTVs we could not identify those motorbikes or vehicles involved. with this system, one there is a security situation, we will be able to tell which vehicles were in that place, there should not be any worry that there is going to be intrusion in the privacy of the motor vehicle users.”
With the trackers, government and implementing partners will have access to the location of any automobile at all times.
Minister Muhwezi after appending his signature on the document whose details remain scanty said government got a go ahead from the Solicitor General and no law will be contravened. This followed questions on how the Russian Company was procured for the job.