Greater parts of Harare Central Business District (CBD) is now currently covered with CCTV as government through the ministry of ICT Postal and Courier services drive the safe city initiatives.
While most skeptics have already hit a panic button suspecting the government to use the same technology to snoop against them and invade on their privacy, this same technology has been known to do more good than harm worldwide.
Speaking to the minister of ICT Postal and courier services, Hon Jenfan Muswere, he said that they are currently on a trial of the technology as Harare readies to embrace safe city.
“We are developing the safe city pilot project in line with the Smart Zimbabwe and the digital infrastructure master plan”
The Huawei safe city projects has been largely accepted by many African countries while they have also implemented it in main land China as well.
Safe City initiatives are the Huawei’s flagship public safety solution designed to provide local authorities with a wide range of modern products and rely on a series of Internet of Things (IoT) devices intended to improve policing efforts.
This writer has also once visited Huawei city, where i personally witnesssed amazing technology restoring security and safety of citizens against high crime rate.
As seen in the video above, this could also ease high crime rate and congestion issues, with past issues of commuter buses committing crime, speeding off from scenes endangering innocent citizens, these could have been easily captured and tracked their way out.
Their solutions would have been ideal as well in high crime areas like Johannesburg and will greatly improve towns like Harare to track and trace criminals.
These same cameras could be mounted or supported with facial recognition software that makes it easier to even track criminals after crimes were committed, or more importantly, in these covid19 epidemic , they could be used to help trace infections.
However in some African countries , Huawei faces controversy of a different nature, according to Qz.com
The Chinese telecoms equipment giant, which reportedly built up to 70% of the continent’s 4G infrastructure, stands accused of selling technologies to potentially repressive governments as part of its “Safe City” initiative and in so doing helping to undermine human rights in these countries.
Huawei’s Safe City initiative undoubtedly threatens human rights in Uganda, including the right to peaceful assembly and association as the country prepares for [the] 2021 general elections,” said Dorothy Mukasa, CEO of Unwanted Witness, a Ugandan digital rights advocacy organization.
In August 2019, the Ugandan police force announced it had purchased facial recognition cameras from the company at a cost of $126 million as part of a ‘Safe City’ agreement.
“This is an extension of China’s surveillance apparatus into Uganda through [the] Ugandan Police force, an agency with a track record of brutalizing journalists and opposition politicians,” Mukasa added.
The Ethiopian government, where an internet shutdown in the Oromia region is nearing its fourth month, also has a ‘Safe City’ agreement with the company. The country has a long history of using sophisticated technologies acquired from private companies based in both China and the West as means of stifling dissent
The telecoms giant has however denied such allegations