Ugandan police rejects claims of using Huawei to spy on opposition politicians

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Ugandan police on Tuesday dismissed allegations by Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that it used Chinese telecom Huawei to spy on an opposition politician.

Fred Enanga, police spokesperson in a statement issued in Kampala referred to the allegations as malicious.

"We strongly believe the article by the WSJ that was carried forward by the Daily Monitor (local newspaper) is being used to sabotage and smear the UPF [Uganda Police Force] and give political mileage to a particular member of the opposition and other interests," said Enanga.

"We wonder why they would single out one leader, yet there are many other players in the political arena of Uganda including other politicians, activists, members of parliament, journalists, to mention a few," he said.

Enanga said the false accusations will not hurt its cooperation with Huawei and the force will not help promote propaganda wars in the fight for the export of automated technology.

The police spokesperson said the police force has a contract with Huawei to install CCTV cameras country wide as a measure to strengthen law and order.

"Their contract including both the hardware and software were thoroughly evaluated, and there were no shortcomings in the engineering and policing processes," said Enanga.

"We want to assure all Ugandans that there are no concerns in using Huawei technology. Our relationship is purely business and does not prohibit us from purchasing or using their telecommunications and surveillance products in addressing crime and safety in our country," he said.

Enanga said the cameras are already transforming modern day policing in the East African country, with facial recognition and artificial intelligence as part of policing and security.

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