The Embassy of China in Kampala has dismissed as “pure fake news and totally groundless” media reports that China’s telecom giants, Huawei, have been clandestinely assisting Uganda security and intelligence agencies to spy on its political opponents, specifically Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi.
China’s Ambassador to Uganda, Zheng Zhu Qiang, yesterday, strongly described the allegations as utter falsehoods aimed at injuring his country’s reputation and that of Huawei.
“That story, like they say is fake, we believe it was designed in a way that makes it believable, but most of the details availed have no element of truth.
The story was fabricated to demonize China and Huawei with the simple reason of fighting a trade war instigated by a big power with Huawei as the main target of the attack,” the ambassador said.
The US-based Wall Street Journal (WSJ), on Wednesday, reported that they had classified briefs and interviews with individuals that were involved in cyberoperations to wiretap the communication of Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine when he returned from the US in August last year.
When contacted, Uganda Media Centre executive director and the Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, challenged the authors of the story to retrieve the Entebbe airport passenger manifest for the period under review to prove whether the said Police officers traveled to China.
Opondo said the Government has no reason to spy on the Opposition because Uganda enjoys a running democracy. “This propaganda is part of the global trade war the US has opened against China and Huawei. Opposition politicians are always threatening to bring the Government down,” he said.
In a statement, Huawei said the WSJ story was unfounded and inaccurate.
“The Uganda Police CCTV Project is the only security-related project we have in Uganda whose scope is installing CCTV cameras, network, project command, and data center for specifically public security surveillance and identification of criminal activities,” the company said.
It added: “The training, therefore, is only how to manage the CCTV system.” It added that during 2017 no Uganda Police force officer visited Huawei’s Shenzhen headquarters.