Government plans to spend Rwf5 billion in the next fiscal year to purchase 124 CCTV security cameras to be installed in different busy public spaces in the City of Kigali to beef up security, The New Times has learnt.
The plan is contained in budget estimates proposed by Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA), which were discussed last week in the parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony.
The committee has been scrutinising the Government's budget proposals for the next fiscal year 2018/19 whose estimates are found in the Budget Framework Paper (BFP) and midterm budget estimates for the next three financial years (2018/19-2020/21) tabled in the Lower House by the government two weeks ago.
CCTV, an abbreviation for closed-circuit television, is a system that sends television signals to a limited number of screens, and is often used in shops and public places to prevent and detect crime.
Antoine Sebera, Chief Innovation Officer at RISA, said that the CCTV cameras to be purchased in the next fiscal year will be installed in different public spaces in Kigali with a focus on areas where many people meet.
He said the plan is in line with making Kigali smarter and safer, especially now that it's a city where many high-profile people increasingly meet to do business and ensuring their safety and security has become one of the top priorities for the Government.
"Installing the cameras will help prevent crime because people will know that police is watching and investigations will be easy to conduct when crimes are committed," Sebera told The New Times in an interview.
He said that the Rwf5 billion will be spent on procuring 124 cameras as well as related equipment needed to install them such as optical fibre and poles.
Among the areas to be installed include the Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) on the city's suburbs of Masoro-Munini and Kagarama-Musave in Gasabo District as well as different intersections at main roads in the city.
"We want to make Kigali smarter. Even if it's already a safe city we want to make it safer," Sebera said.
Under the installation plan, the official said, it is planned that RISA will work with the Rwanda National Police to install the security cameras depending on the needs.
RISA is the government's agency in charge of planning and coordinating the implementation of national ICT for development projects.
Rwanda National Police spokesperson Commissioner of Police Theos Badege said that the installation of security cameras around the city will help the Force achieve its surveillance goal without using a lot of resources.
"You can achieve more with fewer resources when you use technology. We are already leveraging the proliferation of mobile phones and Internet use, and installing cameras in more places would be an added advantage," he said in an interview.
MP Théobald Mporanyi, a member of the parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony, said that the plan will likely be supported by many parliamentarians because they understand it's an important move as the country develops.
"As our country develops, thieves also come up with different ways of committing their crimes and we have to be vigilant. So, CCTV is highly needed and the plan should be supported and funded depending on the country's means," he said.
Legislators' comments on the budget proposals will feed into the preparation of the draft law for the 2018-19 national budget which will be read in June 2018 as a final budget proposal to be approved by Parliament.