KAMPALA —President Museveni will address the nation on Saturday, August 14, at 8 p.m, his office has said.
Senior Presidential Press Secretary Lindah Nabusayi on Thursday morning that Mr. Museveni will address the nation at 8 p.m Ugandan time, briefing country on the security situation among others.
“[President] Museveni will address the nation to give a Security Situation brief to the country on Saturday August 14, 2021 at 8pm. The address will be live on all Televisions and Radio Stations. Tune in,” Ms. Nabusayi wrote on Twitter.
The President is expected to talk about the controversy surrounding spy chips after reports indicated that he personally handpicked a Eurasian firm named Global Systems LLC to install tracking devices in all public and private vehicles, motorcycles and water vessels in the country.
With the deal, the government intends to re-register both public and private vehicles, water vessels such as boats, and boda-bodas. This is a process that will involve the installation of digital trackers to enable authorized state officials to track the movement of everyone using these modes of transport.
Once the system is up and running, the government says users will not be able, for example, to remove a registration plate from a vehicle without alerting the authorities.
Sketchy details about the deal indicate that car owners in the country will have to directly foot the bill of implementation, including the UGX20,000 ($5) tracker installation fee, cost of a new registration number plate, and subsequent penalties. Any revenue generated by the process will be shared between the government and Joint Stock, as per the agreement.
Expanding the state surveillance capacity to boda-bodas will cover much of the population given their reach and relevance to Uganda’s economy.
It will also grant the state access to data on movement of millions of people they transport every day. Already, efforts are underway to challenge the Joint Stock deal in and outside court over privacy and constitutionality concerns.
“The type and scope of information collected by GPS surveillance enables governments to monitor a person’s political associations, and their amorous interests in a way that invades their privacy and chills[limits] expression of other fundamental rights,” writes Lynette Akankwatsa, a Peter Kibilango Social Justice Fellow in Residence at the Kampala-based Centre for Legal Aid.
“Imagine a situation where the government can at any time track the whereabouts of any person. Is there a guarantee that the government will not use this technology to oppress citizens?”
President Museveni, has rubbished privacy concerns, insisting the move is for security purposes, and that only criminals have a reason to worry.
Meanwhile, the President is also expected to to announce further lifting of the lockdown as the country works to stop the spread of coronavirus.
In his last address, the President Museveni announced that Uganda will lift the current lockdown in phases
Private and public cars have since returned on the road while following strict protocols including carrying half of their loading capacity.
Some commentators believe that the president could open for the undergraduate finalists, Postgraduate finalists, finalists in the Tertiary institutions, candidates at P.7, S.4, and S6 levels.