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Huawei Speaks Out On ‘Helping Govt Spy On Bobi Wine, Opposition’

China based technology company, Huawei has broken silence on claims that the Uganda government is using it to spy on opposition politicians especially Kyandondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.

In a statement dated August 15, 2019, Huawei completely rejects the Wall Street Journal’s “unfounded and inaccurate allegations against its business operations in Uganda.”

The statement adds that Huawei’s code of business conduct prohibits any employees from undertaking any activities that would compromise its 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 statement reads in part.

It adds that Huawei Technologies (Uganda) Co. Ltd is a private entity, duly registered and licensed to conduct the business of Information and Communication Technologies in Uganda.

“Compliance with local, regional and international laws is central to our business delivery. In particular; cyber security and privacy protection are Huawei’s top priorities,” it says.

To implement the above-said security assurance system, Huawei says has General Privacy Protection Policy- which stipulates that Huawei strives to comply with applicable laws and regulations related to Privacy and Personal Data protection in countries where Huawei operates. This Policy sets forth the basic principles by which Huawei Processes the Personal Data of consumers, customers, suppliers, business partners, employees and other individuals, and indicates the responsibilities of Huawei business departments and employees while Processing Personal Data. This Policy complies with the laws and regulations of Uganda and other countries in which Huawei operates.

It adds that it has the Employee Behavior Guidelines- to ensure the company’s and staff’s operational compliance with local laws through individual awareness and liability.

“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 training therefore we offer police officers is ONLY how to manage the CCTV system,” the statement explains.

It adds: “We have also never developed any intelligence monitoring project for Uganda or signed any contract related to spying and intelligence related activities. 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 categorically states that during the 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,” it adds.

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