An American newspaper, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has claimed that Chinese Telecom giant Huawei is helping the Uganda government to hack technology gadgets of opposition leaders including Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi.
In an article supported with a 10-minute video, WSJ journalists Joe Parkinson, Nicholas Bariyo and Josh Chin investigate a claim by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi commonly referred to as Bobi Wine that the government of Uganda is hacking his phone and listening in to his conversations.
“I cannot talk to you about sensitive stuff on my phone because our conversation is being listened to,” Bobi Wine claims in the WSJ video.
According to the WSJ report, some unidentified government officials said that the Telecom Giant, Huawei is the tech company aiding the government’s alleged conspiracy against opposition leaders. According to these government officials, Huawei uses its infrastructure that includes most of the 3G and 4G cell towers in Kampala.
These officials claim that Huawei staff helped the government put up a surveillance system that involves CCTV Cameras, Mobile phone tapping and hacking password protected devices.
The report further places focus on the recently installed CCTV cameras that are Huawei brand around Kampala that are meant to be fighting crime. The move for the CCTV cameras’ installation came after a presidential directive which followed a spike in gun violence around the city. Some of these incidents involved the assassination of high ranking government officials like the late Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga.
“The issue of tapping communications is done by government security agencies and they work hand in hand with Huawei,” an unidentified government official testifies in the WSJ video.
The informant further goes into detail on how the government allegedly monitors opposition leaders through their phones using spyware.
In the report, Bobi Wine freely shared how he side-steps the alleged government hacks using tricks like sending his personal Mobile device to locations other than the one he wishes to go to.
The Chinese telecom Giant Huawei is facing opposition from some parts of the world most especially the United States of America which claims that the company uses its 5G technology to spy on other networks. This has been a factor that has contributed to the strained relationship between the USA and China. Huawei has over the months denied any allegations of spying on other networks and also denied the claims by The WSJ.
Additional reporting by NTV