KAMPALA – A section of MPs has called on Government to revoke taxes on the CCTV cameras so as to fight crime in the country.
In a motion mooted by three MPs including; Mbwatekamwa Gaffa (Kasambya County), Isaac Mulindwa (Lugazi Municipality) and Pentagon Kamusiime (Butebo County) that is set to be presented before Parliament before lawmakers make a final decision on the proposal.
The motion read in part, “Parliament urges Government to revoke taxes on CCTV cameras and automotive tracking devices so as to make them more affordable.”
They defended their position arguing that CCTV cameras give police chance to identify criminals recorded with cameras, the police can prevent crimes from happening and can quickly solve criminal cases with material evidence from CCTV cameras.
The MPs further noted that cameras protect against property theft, and vandalism, if there are no witnesses to a crime, the surveillance footage will aid police investigation.
The trio argued that the security situation in the country over the last few years has been characterized by murders such as the killing of the then police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi, the killings of Muslim clerics and murders of girls.
They argued that as a result of the killings, President Yoweri Museveni addressed the nation about the security situation and explained twelve action points that government would take to address the security situation including the Installation of CCTV cameras and encouraging the insolation of private CCTV.
Further, the President commissioned CCTV cameras in October 20l8 at the National Command and Control Centre at Nateete Police Station and thereafter 122 live CCTV cameras were installed to monitor Lungujjo, Old Kompolo, Rubao, Kawoolo, Kabowo, Nateete and Mutundwe.
The lawmakers further stated that in April 2019, Parliament authorized Government to borrow up to US$ 104 million from Standard Chartered Bank to finance the National CCTV Network Expansion Project and the debate in Parliament indicated the tremendous importance of CCTV cameras.
The issue of waiver of taxes on CCTV was further backed by the Democratic Party (DP) on July 2nd 2019 that asked the government to remove taxes on CCTV cameras to enable many Ugandans to install them in their homes and business and on 5th September 2019.
It should be recalled that Minister of Internal Affairs in a statement to Parliament on the security situation noting that acquiring CCTV cameras for private individuals is still expensive and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development was being engaged to review the tax regime on this so as to make CCTV cameras for private individuals more affordable.