Uganda has denied allegations it hacked into the encrypted communications of musician-turned-MP Bobi Wine.
The Wall Street Journal alleges Ugandan officers labored with technicians from telecoms firm Huawei to infiltrate the politician’s WhatsApp chat group, named Firebase crew after his band.
It says authorities then “scuppered his plans to organise street rallies” and arrested Bobi Wine and his supporters.
Huawei described the allegations as “unfounded and inaccurate”.
It additionally dismissed allegations that its representatives have been concerned in comparable intelligence-gathering operations in Zambia and Algeria.
Zambia has additionally rejected the report.
Information Minister Dora Siliya tweeted that it was “malicious” and that Zambia’s structure assured the best to privateness.
The Chinese tech large has been beneath scrutiny for its alleged hyperlinks to the Chinese authorities, and was blacklisted by the US in May as a part of an ongoing commerce struggle between the 2 nations.
Britain’s authorities final month delayed its choice on whether or not to exclude Huawei gear from the nation’s new 5G cell phone community following warnings of a safety threat.
There isn’t any proof within the Wall Street Journal article that Huawei executives in China have been conscious of what was occurring in Africa.
Bobi Wine has not but commented on the report.
Ugandan authorities spokesman Ofowno Opondo advised BBC Focus on Africa TV that the allegations have been “false”.
“In Uganda we run a transparent democratic system. The opposition politicians speak their mind openly… there is no need to use underhand methods to find out what they are saying.”
When challenged that Uganda had been accused of spying on opponents prior to now, Mr Opondo stated “there will always be bad apples in the system”.
In 2015, the BBC reported the federal government used surveillance expertise which was deployed to crush and doubtlessly blackmail opponents. The report was denied by the federal government on the time.
Bobi Wine has been an MP for 2 years and portrays himself as a champion of the poor, and sings about social justice and democracy.
He intends to run in opposition to President Yoweri Museveni within the 2021 election.
Mr Museveni has been in energy since 1986, and is searching for a sixth time period.