Local Journalist Alleges Government Can Track WhatsApp Messages

I recently saw a tweet by local journalist Hopewell Chin’ono urging security-conscious people to uninstall WhatsApp since the government can track WhatsApp messages.

How true is it?

Well, the security of WhatsApp has always been called into question despite the fact that WhatsApp has had end-to-end encryption for nearly half a decade now.

Whilst the encryption is meant to ensure that messages between you and a third party are only readable between the two of you, there have been times when this has been proven to be “easy” to bypass.


Last August, it was revealed that Huawei technicians worked hand-in-hand with Ugandan intelligence officers to hack Bobby Wine’s (prominent opposition figure) WhatsApp and Skype accounts.

Hopewell pointed out this incident as part of his case against using WhatsApp and alluded to the fact that the involvement of Huawei technicians in Uganda is something that could easily happen in Zimbabwe;

Whilst there isn’t evidence to suggest that the government is working hand-in-hand with Huawei or Huawei workers to try and hack political opponents private communications – that has become a trend in Africa that makes it hard to simply dismiss Hopewell’s view.

Apart from the Ugandan incident, Huawei technicians in Zambia also reportedly assisted the government to access the phones and Facebook accounts of opposition bloggers which means the collaboration of African governments and technicians from the telecoms giant are being exploited to crush opposition voices.

For ordinary Zimbabweans like you and me, it might not be an issue because the likelihood that the government would spend energy trying to hack into your communications is pretty insignificant.

For political opponents and journalist covering political issues frequently – it might be in your best interest to follow Hopewell Chin’ono’s advice and install a more secure messaging application like Telegram and Signal. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Also read, Telegram Founder: WhatsApp will never be secure

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7 thoughts on “Local Journalist Alleges Government Can Track WhatsApp Messages

  1. Really, TechZim?

    You’re supposed to be the experts vs joining the illinformed conclusion made by the journalist!

    Did you at least bother to understand what end to end encryption is?

    Having spyware installed on your phone or PC doesn’t mean the encryption of every other application on your phone or PC is inherently not strong.

    You should know that

    Once you compromise one of the endpoints of the end to end encrypted channel, there is nothing that any well encrypted communication will do. Even with Telegram, Signal and what not.

    1. Spyware can take screenshots and screen recordings on Whatapp without your knowledge but Signal doesn’t allow any form of screen capture.

      1. If you don’t want people to take screenshits of your messages then use something like snapchat because the only way for Spyware to enter your phone is if you installed it or picked it up from shady sites

  2. At least do research before you write .It will improve your articles a lot.I like them though sometimes they lack that technical something and the above is a very good example

  3. I was relived to see this headline, and clicked on it anticipating it offers a factual explanation on why the journalist is mistaken.
    Sadly, just like many other Zim websites, it seems partisan politics is winning even here on a tech site.
    There’s no basis whatsoever to the claim.
    Please, get Techzim back on its original path. Don’t follow the politics. It will pass. You have a reputation to keep, which must be maintained long after all this partisan politics is done.
    Get back to being a fact-based, tech site. If you can’t, please announce it.

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