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Zambia presses ahead with controversial US$210m CCTV camera project

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 31 Aug 2022

Zambia’s government has confirmed it will go ahead with the controversial US$210-million closed circuit television (CCTV) street camera project as part of a broader safe city initiative.

Despite having recently put an immediate stop to pending digital projects in a bid to avert a debt crisis, the country’s government has made an exception with this initiative and said it could not be stopped because it is 98% complete.

The project, driven via a partnership between Zambia and China’s ZTE, falls under the auspices of the Ministry of Home Affairs to bolster efforts to curb crime, manage traffic and provide a monitoring service to assist law enforcement and enhance general public safety.

It is based on the use of 4G wireless broadband trucking network infrastructure and intelligent traffic systems. According to the system driver licence details are linked to bank accounts and in the event of a traffic offence, the offender/s will have the relevant fine amount debited from their accounts.

The project was awarded in 2013 by the previous administration under a direct agreement, without an open tender procedure, which immediately raised suspicion and concern of inflated costs.

Jack Mwiimbu, the country’s Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister, said the cost of the project is too high and that if his administration were in power at the time, the project wouldn’t have been considered. He vowed that costs would be reviewed.

In addition to the central command centre, Mwiimbu said over 35 communication towers and radio security systems have been installed in 116 districts of the country including Lusaka, Kabwe and Livingstone.

ZTE Zambia Services Limited CEO Arvin Xie said, “The company will work with stakeholders to support and sustain the project.”

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