Senior Presidential Press Secretary Don Wanyama says the Wall Street Journal story on Huawei helping African governments hack into opposition phones is total hogwash.
“There’s no evidence. This is a continuation of the US-China trade war, a new frontier being opened in Africa,” Don explained.
“You don’t need to hack a phone to know that the Busabala concerts were political,” he said in reference to the banned concerts of singing politician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
According to the report, Huawei technicians sitting at Uganda police headquarters used a Pegasus software to hack into encrypted messages that intercepted Bobi Wine’s messages and told his actual locations.
Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, appeared on BBC Focus on Africa to dispute the report which he referred to as “fake news”.
Even former head of Bobi Wine’s communications Anne Whitehead was in agreement:
“I kind of agree with you here, Don. It feels like this story is for foreign audiences, using Uganda in a proxy PR war like they did with “the gays”.”
She added: “And anyway, didn’t UG security spyware our phones much earlier, mbu “funga macho” stories? Now they bring Huawei into it for what?”
In May this year, Reuters reported that British Prime Minister Theresa May fired her defense minister over a leak of discussions in the National Security Council about Chinese telecoms company Huawei.
The sudden dismissal of Gavin Williamson, who “strenuously” denied involvement in the leak, was another blow for May, whose own premiership hangs by a thread after her failure so far to usher Britain smoothly out of the European Union.
The firing also underlined how seriously her team treated the leak from the National Security Council, which discusses Britain’s national security, intelligence coordination and defense strategy, and involves only certain ministers from her cabinet to keep its talks as secret as possible.
That secrecy was broken in April when the Telegraph newspaper reported Britain would allow Huawei a role in building parts of its 5G network, setting London at odds with Washington over the next generation of communications technology.