Huawei has said that it has never developed any intelligence monitoring project for Uganda or signed any contract related to spying and intelligence related activities.
Huawei’s revelation follows an article by USA’s Wall Street Journal newspaper that alleged that the world’s leading provider of Information and Communications Technology supports domestic spying by the government of Uganda.
In an August 14, 2019 article titled “Huawei Technicians Helped African Governments Spy on Political Opponents”, Wall Street Journal said that the telecom giant offers cyber-surveillance support to Uganda to spy on the country’s opposition.
However, in a statement issued on Thursday August 15, 2019, Huawei said its code of conduct prohibits their employees from undertaking any activities that would compromise their customers or end users’ data or privacy or that would breach any laws.
“Huawei prides itself on its compliance with the local laws and regulations in all markets where it operates and will defend its reputation robustly in the face of such baseless allegations,” the company said in a statement.
The management further noted that the Uganda Police CCTV project is the only security related project they 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 training therefore we offer police officers is ONLY how to manage the CCTV system.
“The major purpose of CCTV project deployment is to identify criminal activities from wrong doers by CCTV camera surveillance and has already practically helped the Uganda Police to reduce the criminal rate in the city streets. We do not have any staff embedded to work at Police Headquarters as alleged by the Wall Street Journal.”
Huawei also said in year 2017, it did not accompany any Uganda officers for any technical training in Beijing and no Uganda police force officer visited Huawei Shenzhen headquarters.
“Huawei has never stopped doing its work or fulfilling its contractual obligations after receiving inquiries from the Wall Street Journal journalists as stated in the article.
“We did sign the MoU with the Ministry of ICT in April 2016 which has already expired. Under the MoU we had to provide expertise and knowledge transfer to government, academia and the general public through workshops, seminar, forum, etc; to support MoICT in joint events such as forums, donations, trainings, etc.; and to recognize Huawei as an ICT partner in their forums/events. All our donations are aimed at fulfilling our corporate social responsibility.”