Huawei faces charges of funding political parties in Ghana

The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), a governance monitoring agency in Ghana, has warned Chinese telecoms firm and electronics vendor Huawei Technologies Ghana Limited to keep out of the country’s politics or be kicked out of the country.

If Huawei is expelled, the planned launch of its brand of smart devices in the country could flop.

The AFAG, armed with documented evidence, claims Huawei sponsors the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), violating Ghana’s Political Party’s Act, Act 574, which restricts non-citizens from sponsoring a political party or becoming affiliated to a party.

Section 25 further states that “a non-citizen found guilty of contravention of section 24 shall be deemed to be a prohibited immigrant and liable to deportation under the Aliens Act, 1963 (Act 160).”

If charged and found guilty, Huawei will have to face the law as stated. Geoffrey Lichenhui, Hauwei Ghana Public Relations Director, however refuted the claims saying Huawei has never been involved in politics, the Adom News reported.

AFAG went ahead to defend its claims, showing invoices to journalists indicating that between March and July 2012 Huawei printed NDC t-shirts, key holders, and handkerchiefs at a cost of around US$150,000.

AFAG also has an invoice dated March 3, 2012 indicating Huawei spent close to US$63,000 for 50,000 NDC T-shirts printed by Chinaband International Limited. The consignment was delivered to Huawei Ghana on May 9, 2012.

The second invoice indicates that Huawei spent some US$35,000 for NDC 25,000 T-shirts bearing president John Dramani Mahama’s portrait. Chinaband International Limited delivered the consignment to Huawei on July 26, 2012, just two days after the death of President John Ata Mills.

AFAG’s third invoice indicates that Huawei spent about US$42,000 for 30,000 NDC T-shirts, 20,000 NDC handkerchiefs and 10,000 NDC key holders. The amount was paid to another Chinese firm Richfile Industrial (Shenzhen) Company Limited.

According to reports, what further raises more suspicion in the firms operations in the country include an award of US$150 million granted to Huawei Ghana to supply “modems, routers and handsets” to Ghana’s six telecom operators, with reference to an e-government project.

Huawei also received an US$43 million tax exemption on the project against the legislators opposition in the Ghanaian parliament.

AFAG also claims the firm is behind NDC party officials trips to China.

The Huawei Group has faced other charges elsewhere, having recently faced corruption and security breach allegations, making the US and Australian governments withdraw contracts earlier awarded. The company is also being investigated by the EU over claims that it issues production subsidies in China to lower the cost of its services on intention to beat other telecom infrastructure vendors.

Posted in: Telecoms

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