Sunday, February 25, 2024

Should Zambians trust the Chinese technology giant, Huawei?


By Venus N Msyani

Chinese technology giant, Huawei is currently helping to make Zambia a smart nation. Its products dominate Zambia, leading to a partnership with MTN Zambia, the largest telecom in the country.

In January 2022 MTN and Huawei signed an agreement to introduce a 5G network aimed at boosting internet speed in the country.

Later on, in March 2022 Huawei entered into a partnership with the new dawn government aimed at accelerating Zambia’s digital transformation.

Huawei has offered to provide digital training to students and instructors across institutions in Zambia, construct a premier digital innovation hub to act as a center of excellence for ICT, and establish a Digital Innovation Scholarship Fund under the patronage of Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, benefitting 50 students each year over the next four years.

The question is, should Zambians trust Huawei? In other words, are new dawn administration opponents safe?

About mid-2019, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that Huawei technicians helped African governments spy on their political opponents, including intercepting their encrypted communications and social media, and using cell data to track their whereabouts.

Zambian government was cited in the report and that is what is worrying. It appears United Party for National Development (UPND) believes that any wrong that happened under the previous government is justifiable if it happens under the new dawn administration.

If the previous government did, UPND believe they can also do it. As long as they do it less. So far Huawei is receiving a lot of praise from the new dawn administration. Is what has made the past come to my mind. The relationship between Huawei and UPND needs to be monitored.

UPND was the main government opponent at the time of the WSJ report. Growing online criticism may force the new dawn administration to spy on opponents and use the 2019 WSJ report to justify that.

Should Zambians, particularly UPND government critics, trust the Chinese technology giant, Huawei?

Meanwhile, it appears the new dawn administration is unconsciously trying to decriminalize the recording of one’s private parts.

A video of a lady playing with her private parts was recently shared on Twitter and Instagram. The lady in the video looks Like Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) boss Mary Chirwa.

Recording such acts is illegal in the country and many people have been prosecuted because of doing that.
Mary Chirwa has not reacted to the video. However, it appears the majority believe she is the one in the video. They want her to resign.

The new Dawn administration is defending Mis Chirwa arguing that everyone does it. If they succeed, it will mean decriminalization of recording of one’s private parts as will be very difficult to prosecute such an act in the future.

Anyway, back to the question, should Zambians trust the Chinese technology giant, Huawei?


  1. Could have added more cement to issues of trusting Huawei, it hasn’t come out as much as it should. I thought author would highlight the refusal of US, UK and most countries in the EU to allow Huawei install 5G technology. Of course there are instances of capitalism fearing a Chinese company dominating their markets as well as minor security concerns.
    About the decriminalization of private recordings, I think the author needs a whole different article, it’s a different topic.

    • Same here…..I am left unsure about what the main issue with the author is?. Huawei or the fact that the Police via forensics investigations can not establish the truth regarding madam chirwa??. Please. seems to be confusing wildly different issues. I rest my case.

  2. Zambia has no choice………

    Inanycase Huawei are the best , streets ahead of the compeitition in 5G and related technologies………

  3. Every country in the world spies on its citizens. Just read the wikileaks revelations. The interesting thing about the video allegedly featuring Ms Mary Chirwa has been commented upon by NON-English speaking trollers on the internet. One is even in Hindi or some sort of Indian language. This means that the person featured in the video was HACKED. There are many foreign nationals in Zambia who have an interest in and a motive to blunt the fight against money laundering. There are Casinos in Zambia that are notorious conduits for money laundering. Huawei is not the problem. The problem is the mens rea, the evil minds behind technology.

  4. First it was that HH and New dawn are puppets of the West Capitalists, now because the New Dawn are talking to Chinese, ati can we trust the Chinese. What motivates this kind of two lopsidedness kanshi?

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