The Chinese government through its Embassy in Uganda has rejected and dismissed a story published by the US-based Wall Street Journal newspaper which claimed that the Chinese telecom giant Huawei was helping African governments monitor and hack opposition leaders’ communications.
An unsigned statement on the embassy’s Twitter account dismissed the story as ‘fake news and totally groundless”
Yesterday, the business newspaper claimed that Huawei is helping Uganda government and other African governments to hack and listen in to communications made by opposition leaders.
In the article, WSJ journalists 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.
Quoting unidentified government officials, the report claims that the Telecom Giant, Huawei uses its infrastructure which includes most of the 3G and 4G cell towers in Kampala to enable these hacks.
“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.
In the report, Bobi Wine shared how he side-steps the alleged government hacks using tricks like sending his Mobile device to locations other than the one he wishes to go to.
However, the Chinese Embassy picked on a key anecdote in which involves an embassy staffer identified as Chu Maoming, the story claims Mr MaoMing was an intermediary and accompanied various Ugandan officials to meetings with the security agency in China, where they were shown the surveillance capabilities of the Chinese government in 2017.
The Embassy claims Mr Maoming did not leave Uganda at any point in 2017.
The embassy claims the story has an ulterior motive.
Statehouse in Uganda has already dismissed the hacking claims, with Senior Presidential Press Secretary Mr Don Wanyama saying this story is a continuation of America’s attack on Huawei amidst a trade war with China.
“You don’t need to hack a phone to know that the Busabaala concerts were political,” He says.
Huawei is helping Uganda set up a surveillance system that involves CCTV Cameras to fight crime. This followed a spate of Gun killings in Kampala, including the assassination of high ranking government officials like the late Arua Municipality MP, Colonel Ibrahim Abiriga.
The Chinese telecom giant Huawei also 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 enable China to spy on other countries.
Huawei has over the months denied any allegations of spying on other networks and also denied the claims by The WSJ.