Free Uganda founder, Gen David Sejusa, says the government of President Yoweri Museveni, hired an Italian hacking firm to spy on Amama Mbabazi and Kizza Besigye.
He says “a Blocker sold hacking softwares and trojans that helped the Government intercept Besigye’s emails and phone calls” before his arrest last week.
According to Sejusa, Museveni used the same equipment to suppress the freedom of Mbabazi and his daughters quoting emails published three weeks back.
“Fellow citizens of this great republic of Uganda, I have been belittled by the recent discoveries uncovered because of the threat they pose to our right to privacy,” Sejusa writes.
“One might say that this right has long been under attack and possibly how worse can it get, but this is a whole new frontier owing the recent uncovering’s by WikiLeaks due to leaks by yet unknown hackers.”
According to WikiLeaks, the hacks against an Italian cyber-security company only known by the name “Hacking Team”, uncovered that among others, the Uganda government had contracted them for the purchase of RCS ‘remote control systems’ known as “Galileo”.
“Whereas it might be argued by the government that the alleged purchase is to strengthen Ugandan cyber security but the truth of the matter lies in the detail of the capabilities of this hacking software,” Sejusa notes.
He says Galileo can be used as an offensive tool, so one begs to ask who the target is.
“Is it terrorists or other criminals, well maybe, but there are no assurances that it won’t be used to violate personal space and privacy of innocent citizens and political actors.”
Galileo has the ability to hijack a computer of any operating systems in what are called zombie attacks, android phones, emails and social media accounts.
According to the emails released, its said that the government has already had a demonstration at an undisclosed location somewhere in Kampala and is now waiting on the full sale to be carried out next month.
“The timing of this purchase is quite coincidental with the rising tides of social media activism and the forth coming elections in Uganda one might think it’s for cracking down on political dissent on the world web and they might not be wrong since there is little protection awarded by the law to citizens who will most likely be victims of these attacks.”
The Italian company specialising in providing hacking services to “rouge regimes” has reportedly just concluded a 1,13000 euro contract with the regime in Uganda to help it hack into citizens devices.
Evidence indicates that Uganda Police met surveillance malware vendor, Hacking Team on May 15, 2015: https://wikileaks.org/hackingteam/emails/emailid/11829
Sejusa says all these tactics are meant “to suppress opposition leaders and Mbabazi” as 2016 general elections knock on the door.
NRM mobilising to bribe voters
Equally so, Sejusa says his old investigative skills have uncovered some groups that are being formed by the NRM to promote Museveni’s sole candidature.
He named a group called The Umbrella allegedly being formed in order for NRM to “mobilize and bribe voters”.
He says the group is still hidden among the general public but “its happening …There is a lot about this group the public needs to know but much I will be include in the general investigation Report…”
He advised Ugandans not to be taken over by money that NRM has to bribe them with.
“According to me,” he writes, “Money is the greatest weakness amongst the NRM. This implies that everyone in the NRM has a price…but your freedom is priceless.”