Police have refuted the allegations of a story that was published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), claiming the Uganda Police Force used its technology for spying and surveilling opposition figures.
While Speaking to Capital times, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga that the UPF has an existing contract with Huawei to install CCTV cameras countrywide 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. The first phase of the installation of CCTV cameras within the KMP areas is in advanced stages with 85% completion.
‘’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. The cameras are already transforming modern-day policing in Uganda, with facial recognition and artificial intelligence as part of policing and security. They are also helping us to be more accountable through increased visibility and better response mechanisms’ ‘he said
He added ‘we continue to take our policing responsibilities very seriously and do utilize a range of operational, investigative and intelligence tools in our everyday activities, but not for spying purposes as alleged. Take note also that where it requires information about users, we use existing laws and procedure to seek such information from service providers ’’
The CCTV cameras are becoming a widespread feature in Ugandan life, where citizens are more secure and conscious in public spaces with CCTVs. It’s therefore, protecting the public from criminals. The other innovations include; DNA, Fingerprinting of guns, digitalizing of Registration number plates etc.
Enanga condemned the article which was published saying it is being used to sabotage and smear the UPF, and give political mileage to a particular member of the opposition and other interests
He petitioned both the WSJ and Daily Monitor to release information that the anti-crime infrastructure we are installing has been secretly used to extract personal information from private cell phones. We have seen the same accusations fronted against many other countries and institutions, using the Huawei intelligent monitoring systems. We believe its pure sabotage and a trade war strategy against Huawei and its clients.