As the Telecommunication companies like MTN are praised the by the government, the National Resistance Movement have clearly let the economy become addicted and need of the services provided by the different Telecom’s and how the operate as village banks. The further proof of this comes when looking into a study and of the value of Mobile Money. This is done by all of the Cellphone providers in different names, but has the same outcome. Either by sending money to village funds, paying for utilities or even add airtime for a friend. The report conducted and made by Economy Policy Research Center at Makerere University we’re an interesting read. Here is the quotes worth assessing over. The historical backdrop of the vast amounts of trillions shillings in the operations. Shouldn’t surprise anyone, considering that one third of Ugandan citizens use the Mobile Money and average rate of monies sent during a month are 250,000. With the amount of people and amounts traded by Mobile Money, it is a booming business and first trying of banking. But doing it directly by the phone and not at the offices of Standard Charted or Barclays. Just take a look!
“After 5 years of operation of mobile money services, the average adoption rate stands at 250,000 persons per month from inception (March 2009) to December 2015. The increase in access to formal financial services, from 28 percent in 2009 to 54 percent in 2013, was partially due to increased access to mobile money 1 See UBOS (2016), “National Population and Housing Census 2014”, Uganda Bureau of Statistics: Kampala services (EPRC 2013). Thirty-five percent of Ugandan adults have a registered mobile money account (Intermedia 2016). An additional 13 percent access services via somebody else’s account, including that of an agent. Mobile money account ownership surpasses the use of both banking and nonbanking financial institutions (Ibid)” (Makwejje & Lakuma, P: 6, 2017).
“Finally, mobile money balances are sensitive to monetary policy shocks, while the mobile money values of transactions are not. These results suggest that 1) Mobile money has helped households to substitute liquid and other lumpy assets for financial assets; 2) Mobile money has modest macroeconomic impacts; 3) Mobile money has the potential to improve the effectiveness of the conduct of monetary policy. These results provide additional evidence for policy makers to continue supporting the growth of mobile money platforms. In particular, policy makers should provide the policy and regulatory framework through which mobile money balances can become interest-bearing assets. This will further strengthen the monetary policy transmission mechanism because economic agents will be able to more directly respond to changes in the policy rate” (Makwejje & Lakuma, P: 17-18, 2017).
The authorities clearly has to assess it and look over the Telecom’s Mobile Money operations, as this is important part of transactions and business operations in Uganda. When such vast amounts of people using it and benefits from it. Where their funds turn digital and get traded instead of having dozens of shillings in their pockets as for balance for their trades. Also, gives the ability to send over needed cash up-country or even to family members. Therefore, the structure and the balances of people’s lives can be monitored and shows the interest-bearing assets. The help it has provided the society and also introduce a form of banking institutions to the public. Though this study did not look into the fortunes made by this sort of transactions compared to ordinary banking practices in Uganda. Which, would be interesting expose considering difference of cost for the consumer and Ugandan doing so. Peace.
Mawejje, Joseph & Lakuma, Paul C. – ‘MACROECONOMIC EFFECTS OF MOBILE MONEY IN UGANDA’ (June 2017) – Economic Policy Research Centre, Makerere University
You would think on a day like this as the final rallies in Kyadondo East, which is part of Wakiso District, that the National Resistance Movement and the Police Force would bring peace. But they didn’t, they created chaos and moved independent candidates, as well as detaining them for interfering in their campaign rallies. This is the proof of vicious ruling regime and how the basic freedoms are limited for others, than the NRM elite and the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, rallying for his candidate in the district. But it seems strange that he cares, since with all due respect. He didn’t care about their votes in the General Election of 2016, as these areas have been a stronghold for opposition party Forum for Democratic Change and because Dr. Kizza Besigye reside in Kasangati, which is a vital part of Kyadondo East.
“In Kampala and its adjacent districts, the Group observed voting delayed by as much as two to four hours and subsequently observed polling locations where voting was delayed by as much as six to nine hours. Anecdotally, in Kampala, there were several polling stations located within minutes of the premises of the Electoral Commission that did not receive voting materials on time” (…) “The voting hours were subsequently extended in Kampala. However, it appeared that this information was not extensively communicated, as voters and polling officials appeared confused and uncertain of the process. The EC announced that polling would continue in a number of constituencies in Wakiso and Kampala districts the following day. Turnout, however, was low on the second day – which was a working day – and it is possible that many potential voters decided not to attempt to vote, after having waited for many hours the previous day”(Commonwealth, P: 13-14, 2016).
“Furthermore, eight teams across the country reported that polling stations could not open before 10 AM. A number of polling stations, notably in Kampala and Wakiso, had not opened within six hours. Significant delays and a lack of effective communication by the EC fuelled frustration and tensions among voters, with EU EOM observers and media reporting about large crowds protesting against being deprived of their right to cast the ballot. In at least four cases, the police used teargas to disperse voters at polling stations. Only shortly before the official closing of the polling stations at 4 PM did the EC chairman announce the three-hour extension of voting in Kampala and Wakiso district. This was poorly communicated to the polling staff in affected areas, and EU EOM observers reported polling stations being closed at first and only after some hesitation did the polling staff improvise and try to re-open voting sites” (EU, P: 29-30, 2016).
“The EC failed to communicate and declare final results of presidential and parliamentary elections in a comprehensive, timely and transparent manner. The announcements of the presidential election’s preliminary results started while voting was still ongoing in parts of Kampala and Wakiso. The final results were declared within the legally binding 48-hour deadline, but they did not contain data from seven per cent of all polling stations, and therefore excluded some 675,000 votes cast. The EC delayed the publication of the final results broken down by polling station till 25 February and uploaded them on its website in a manner that did not allow for easy access or use. The EC also did not publish the scanned copies of the DRFs online although they were readily available in electronic format, thus further reducing voters’ access to information of public interest and in contravention of the principles outlined in the ICCPR” (EU, P: 3-4, 2016).
“The 2016 Elections witnessed a number of violations of the right to vote, most notably due to late delivery of materials in Kampala and Wakiso districts, described by the Supreme Court as evidence of incompetence and gross inefficiency by the electoral management body. A number of potential voters we’re disenfranchised during the voting exercise, in particular persons who turned 18 between May 2015 and February 2016, detainees, including some pre-trial dententions and Ugandans in the diaspora” (FHRI, P: 25, 2016)
So both, the Commonwealth report, FHRI report and the European Union Observer Group saw the same vast indifference for the votes and voter turnout in Wakiso, the same was seen in capital, but that isn’t where the By-Election is happening now. This proves the lack of care and common sense as President Museveni drives Tuk-Tuk and talk of importance of electing people who serves him. He might say he wants to be challenged in Parliament, but everyone knows that is a lie. Therefore, he detained Bobi Wine earlier in the day and moved him to Gyaza town, so his presence could be in Kasangati and at Szasa Grounds. Not like he could be more ruthless, but surely he would rig these election like he did in 2016. Nothing new there, if the turnout would be meager and lack-lusting that would hurt the old-man. Since he cannot show 90-100% turnout, when there would be no lines of people showing up. Harder to rig just a bunch of paper compared to buck-load, which can be pre-ticket into ballot boxes and look legit. That is how they do, especially under President Museveni. The man who made himself a revolutionary by claiming UPC rigging in 1980s. Such a class-act the President, becoming worse than the ones he toppled! Peace.
Commonwealth – ‘Report of the Commonwealth Observer Group Uganda General Elections – 18 February 2016’ (18.02.2016)
COMESA – ‘COMESA ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION TO THE 18 FEBRUARY 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA’
EU – ‘Final Report – Uganda Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council Elections 18 February 2016’ (April 2016)
Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) – ‘COMESA ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION TO THE 18 FEBRUARY 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA’ (June 2016)
Bobi Wine: “In order not to cause a presidential embarrassment, we have agreed to hold our rally in Gayaza” (at Kiira Road Police Station after release, 27.06.2017),
Today is the final days of campaigns for the candidates of the Kyadondo By-Election in Wakiso District on the outskirts of Kampala. There is three main candidates as the DP Candidate pulled out in support of the FDC Apollo Kantinti, the ones previous election bid who got canceled by the courts. Therefore, he is running again to win his seat back. While the independent candidate Robert Kyagukanyi aka Bobi Wine, was blocked today from having his final rally at Szasa Grounds in Kasangati, because of Police interference his final rally will be in Gayaza town.
This proves the ability of the Police Force to threat the opposition candidates in favor of the ruling regime, as President Museveni comes to rally for the NRM Candidate Sitenda Ssebalu, who has buses upon buses with voter-tourism sponsored by the party. Because of the hesitation and importance of this election, they had to detain without charges the Independent Candidate Kyagukanyi at Kiira roads, until he found another venue for his final rally. President Museveni doesn’t like to pushed or dishonored, as the prospects of slap in-the-face of a new politician wasn’t in the cards.
So when they released after a done deal at the Kiira Police Station, Bobi Wine went-on to another venue, than the planned one in Kasangati, but has instead to be in Gayaza town. Proves the powers of intimidation and control of the NRM in favor of Sitenda Ssebalu and President Museveni. This is a-typical and Modus Operandi of the NRM regime. The ironies of it all, was that before President Museveni put his shovel into the By-Election, the Independent had followed procedure and warned about his campaign rally in Kasangati. This proves there is two classes of political classes in Uganda. Yet, again by the way!
“Bobi Wine has been arrested. He was meant to campaign in Kyadondo but police blocked him from accessing the grounds” (NTV Uganda, 27.06.2017).
As the final rallies are on, the Police presence is intense and at all venues. The Police are deployed at all venues to intimidate and silence opposition. There are many going from Kasangati to Gyaza as the rally shifted that way. Since the President Museveni and Ssebalu rally are held in Kasangati. Police has even interfered on the roads around Kasangati to get taxis to ferry people to the NRM rally. They really need their propaganda shots and the pride of the sensitized crowds in their favor. Since the NRM cannot win in a free and fair fight.
FDC Candidate was acting swift on arrest of Bobi Wine, stopped his rallying, went to Kiira Road and demanded the release of his competition. Apollo Kantinti didn’t do this because he had too, but proved his stance of vigilance as he as opposition has seen the cost of being so. Just by trying to figure out a way of making the NRM look better or alike it competitor.
The Communication Officer of NRM Rogers Mulindwa informed the public with this:
“NRM wishes to inform its supporters in Kyadondo East Constituency and the public at large that its Candidate Hon Sitenda Sebalu has this Tuesday afternoon been arrested by police on unclear circumstances. He was arrested together with the district NRM chairperson Hajji Abdu Kiyimba from Wampeewo playground, a second venue for today’s rallies. Police could not tell the motive behind this act but the party continues to seek a clear explanation. The venue was also later invaded by the FDC supporters rendering it impossible for our rally to take place. As an exemplary political party, we have therefore taken a decision to shift our rally to Sir Appolo Kaggwa Church of Uganda in order to avoid causing nasty scenes.We call upon our party members to remain calm and focus on the victory within our sight” (Mulindwa, 27.06.2017).
Pardon me, NRM, but this seems staged, since you arrest the Independent Candidate for campaigning in your area and than blaming FDC for having their campaign rally. This is all knowledge the Electoral Commission should have sanction on behalf of the candidates and accepted previous of the Election Road Map for the By-Election. Therefore, I am buying that the Police arrested Independent Candidate Bobi Wine for his rally in Kasangati, as President Museveni weighed in his support in the election, but that Sebalu suddenly behind bars. Seems more like play for the gallery. There is also reports that the lack of crowds around the NRM, they have not only ferried people from afar, but also closed near-by schools so the students has to attend the rallies of their candidate. A real disgrace of the NRM.
While the FDC leadership stands strong on their final rally for Apollo Kantinti where Ingrid Turinawe, Mugisha Muntu and Kizza Besigye shows up at their rally in Wampeewo. So the solidarity for their candidate is there. While Museveni needed the Police Force to clear Bobi Wine away from the venue and have control of the area, because he knew he doesn’t have the natural crowd support anymore. There are also reports of clashes in Wampeewo, as the NRM and FDC are both campaigning on the site. The FDC supporters even tell the NRM to leave the official grounds as it’s supposed to be FDC Official rally site. Certainly, the Electoral Commission has done something wrong, since both parties says there rallies are being hold there. Seems like the NRM will detain some FDC leaders and FDC supporters today, so they can hold their voter-tourism rally there. Since they have already pushed Bobi Wine to Gayaza town. Even if NRM Communication call them exemplary party, they should explain that to Bobi Wine’s supporters and barred rally, especially when all news are about the Wampeewo Play Ground rally for NRM, as the FDC are still already there. It wasn’t an invasion, they we’re already there!
So if there will be more detained opposition leaders, I wouldn’t be shocked, as this the NRM M.O. and that is what they do. Especially, since the President Museveni and his candidate for the district will arrive in the area and doesn’t want to have fair competition, certainly he will use the Police Force to get rid of the FDC in the area. Even if the FDC has followed protocol, as the Bobi Wine candidature also did in Kasangati earlier in the day. Peace.
The time line is already is insane, but to put it in perspective. The first deadline for the Sim-Card registration was on 21st April 2017. Also, on the 18th May 2017 the Parliament passed a motion where the Registration we’re possible to postpone it for year after the date of passing. The second deadline, that Minister of ICT Frank Tumwebaze was adamant who said it was the final date and show continue. This was the 19th May, when the state and agencies really authorized it.
After that many has gotten their phones silent and lost their lines, as they even we’re registered, the Uganda Communications Committee (UCC), National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) and the Telecommunication Companies as well. The exercise of the weekend has been problematic, as the costumers has flooded the offices and shops because the registration haven’t worked well. The State Authorities and the Companies was not ready.
Therefore, while the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is in Juba, South Sudan on the 22nd May 2017. The comes a message on Twitter: “I’ve agreed to this proposal on condition that the new deadline will be respected. SIM card registration will therefore run until 30/8/2017”. Therefore, for the Sim-Card Registration have been postpone again. The citizens and the authorities can continue to work and fix the problems. The companies and the authorities clearly has a vast mission on their hands. They have clearly not succeeding. Therefore, later this one come as well: “Ministry of ICT and other concerned govt agencies are authorized to allow this new window. I ask Ugandans to take this exercise seriously” (Museveni, 22.05.2017).
Therefore, third time is the charm for the exercise, in the meanwhile you can wonder if the ones who has lost connection. The ones that are disconnected because of the issues with the last deadline on the 19th May 2017. That is why many others lost connection on the 20th May. So now 3 days after deadline, the President shows a leading hand and because of the result. He is overturning the orders of the Minister of ICT Tumwebaze. They are getting another month to the 30th August 2017.
Certainly going from 21st April to 19th May, and today again postponed to 30th August 2017. So the people and citizens are given yet more time, but who needs it more is the Companies and State to figure out how to really do it. Since it seems to be not working now. The are blame-game by the Minister, Parliament, UCC, NIRA and the Telecom Companies.
We can just wonder how this will unfold, the story of the Sim-Card Registration is certainly not over. Not until the President and his minions says so. Peace.
Today, as its been hours since the deadline of Sim-Card registrations in Uganda, there been reports than many who has registered and had followed the procedure of the Telecom Companies and the State, still got disconnected. The Republic and the Uganda Communication Commission and their employees is clearly overstepping their mandate. As their illegally disconnecting civilians of their communications outlet.
The cellphones that are registered and has done the following registrations should by all means, work like normal and just be in the registry. Since that, alas is not the case. The Ugandans should now march to the UCC building and also flog Minister Frank Tumwebaze who are in-charge of this mess. They are clearly been taken hostage of the exercise. Even the likes of Inspector General of Police Edward Kale Kayihura and his two phone lines is shut, also General Henry Tumukunde has lost his phone. This is clearly evidence that the UCC and Hon. Tumwebaze are incompetent in their works. Also, Lord Mayor of Kampala Erias Lukwago has gotten a silenced phone line.
“If your MTN SIM card has been de-activated, please dial *197*3# and enter your National ID Number, followed by Given Name and Surname as they appear on your National ID. For Foreigners, please visit the nearest MTN service centre with your Passport or Refugee ID (issued by the Office of the Prime Minister) Please note: Your SIM card will only be re-activated after NIRA verification” (MTN, 20.05.2017).
There are news that some of the ones who are cut off, as mentioned yesterday the Mobile Money services would still temporarily work. There the subscribers are sending messages together with the money they still have left. As way of sending needed communications between each other. Still, there are millions of numbers and subscribers who wasn’t verified in time, neither had the capacity to be registered. Every Ugandan couldn’t travel to central offices of the NIRA or the Telecom Companies. Therefore, the loss of airtime and the phones. Show’s that the system wasn’t ready for it. Especially, when even central men in the NRM Regime we’re cut off. Opposition leaders was expected, as they are already heavy monitored and just luky for the government who wants to punish the ones not following the program.
There are many who got their NIN and got their verification of their numbers and registered on them. Still, the numbers has been switched off. This shows that the technology and the employees inside the UCC isn’t capable of the services they now has started. People are also worried about their data-bundles and airtime, that they haven’t been able to use before the deadlines even. There are so much money at stake and which has been invested into the Telecom Communication.
This exercise are really in the hand of NIRA, UCC and Hon. Frank Tumwebaze! They really have a lot to do and this tale is not yet over. There will be many subplot and the reasoning could be for getting more money into the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), as the economy is in distress. Peace.
Hon Jacob Markson Oboth: “My wife has been trying to register for weeks but it is not successful. now having a wife who is not registered…” (In the Parliament of Uganda 18th May 2017).
There been two exercises done by the Ugandan authorities that has been hectic, it isn’t any by-election or polling. That is even worse than this, because the will of President Museveni has to honored and not the will of the ones throwing the ballots. Therefore, today’s proof of the ruthlessness of National Resistance Movement and their government. Are the decision to get the Sim-Cards of the citizens registered on the owners. So that the government can control and have oversight of who owns what number. Certainly for a government who already has the methods and known history of violating the privacy of the citizens with their interception technology. This has been done to the opposition leaders and their parties through the Chief of Military Intelligence at Mbuya hill, Kampala.
Well, this isn’t about how they have used FinFisher to track and monitor individuals that the state wants to control and get detained. This is about the general population and their cellphones suddenly has to not only get National Identification Card and Number (NIN) by National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) and follow the orders of Uganda Communication Commission (UCC). Therefore, when the Honorable Frank Tumwebaze has continued to push the registration, even as the first delay was to today, but the remarkable step was yesterday, the Parliament voted for a motion. That motion was to give up-to a year, but the Minister Tumwebaze had already made his mind. Take a look!
Yesterday’s Parliament’s Motion on the Registration:
“The deadline was due to expire today. Winnie Kiiza, the Leader of Opposition, moved the motion to urge the government extend the validation exercise. The shadow attorney general, Wilfred Niwagaba, seconded the motion, pointing out that some Ugandans have yet to get their national IDs due to the inefficiency of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA). Speaker Rebecca Kadaga concurred, ruling that the extension should take not more than a year. NIRA had earlier revealed that 15 million Sim cards have so far been validated, while more than one million have been rejected for submitting inconsistent data. Speaking to The Observer at their offices in Kololo yesterday, Michael Muganga, the NIRA assistant public relations officer, said Sim cards that were not verified either had wrong national identification numbers (NIN) or the names didn’t correspond with the NINs” (…) “However, according to NIRA’s Muganga, while telecommunication companies have submitted 18 million SIM cards for validation, the actual number of those validated is only 15 million. “We have issued around 15 million ID cards; so, if they have said 18 million, may be there are people who have multiple SIM cards,” Muganga said. According to UCC records, Uganda has got 22.8 million SIM cards, and many subscribers have got multiple SIM cards” (Lule, 2017).
MTN Addresses the Concerns of Costumers yesterday:
“MTN added that “numbers that are not fully registered are on a soft suspension, from 8am to mid-day. Apologies for the inconvenience.” Experts said the suspension was one way MTN was driving awareness for registration, and also checking their systems ahead of the deadline which is midnight Friday. But many on twitter were outraged, demanding to know if regulations allowed MTN to do their tests before the deadline” (Uganda CrazyMedias, 2017).
Hon. Tumwebaze statement:
“As a national security measure, government embarked on an exercise of ensuring that every SIM card of an individual gets validated and verified for purposes of ensuring secure and safer communications. For that matter, instructions were given to all telecom companies through the regulator, UCC to enforce the exercise. The same way banks embarked on their KYC (Know Your Customer) principle, same should apply to the telecom sector for SIM card holders” (…) “The deadline of 19th May set by government will be enforced at Midnight. This is therefore to confirm that the deadline stands and all unregistered, unverified and un-validated SIM cards will be switched off initially for voice communications. In other words the holders of those cards will not be able to receive or make calls” (…) “Another measure taken by government to ease the registration, verification and validation process for citizens as demanded by Parliament and citizens, is for NIRA to allow new ID applicants whose IDs are still pending processing to use their application form numbers. Once they get their IDs, with the National Identification Number (NINs) then they can re-submit online using the USSD code *197#” (Tumwebaze, 2017).
This here are a proof that there aren’t a synergy between the government, even between Parliamentarians, like the Minister Tumwebaze doesn’t even care or listen to the Motion that was voted in Parliament yesterday, the 18th May 2017. What should make you wonder is that the first deadlines seemed to be in mid-April – around the 20th April 2017. As one of the companies wrote online:
“Hello Tangerians, To complete your SIM registration and avoid being disconnected, please WhatsApp your Tangerine number and a copy of your national ID to 0753333666, email email@example.com or visit our offices before Thursday 20th April 2017” (Tangerine Uganda, April 18 2017).
But on the day 21st April 2017, the day after first deadline, the postpone was to the 19th May 2017. Than on the 18th May 2017, the Parliament passed a motion making it possible to extend up-to a year. Something that the Honorable Tumwebaze didn’t listen to or follow. Therefore, he in his station took the powers and overruled the Parliament, single-handed took charge and pushed through. This with the knowledge that many people will lack their phone coverage, even if only limited.
“Minister of ICT and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze has said the deadline for unverified SIM cards of 19 May will be effected at midnight. The deadline will only affect communication to enable mobile money customers to either withdraw their balances or transfer them to registered SIM cards” (NBS Television, 19.05.2017). So the Government, NIRA, UCC and the Telecom Companies have to silence many millions of Sim-cards. They are the ones who haven’t had the ability to get to NIRA to even get the National Identification Cards and the Numbers, which it contains (NIN). The National Identification Cards hasn’t been a smooth ride either for the Republic. So the need for this, is surely making it harder for villagers and the ones far from central towns. You can expect many in Northern Uganda, who will from tonight have phones that can only transfer mobile monies and not call.
This here isn’t only affecting the ones who has multiple Sim-Cards and hasn’t gotten them verified through the systems, the companies and the agencies who has to systematic it in their registry. If it wasn’t so, than this exercise would be unnecessary. Certainly, the ride has been bumpy and will not stop to be so. As even the wife of the Member of Parliament Oboth has to get registered today, as she wasn’t ready yesterday. There are many more who misses out and that isn’t cared for by Frank.
The State will leave a dozens behind, who has to scratch their monies and either find their ways to NIRA offices or the local government offices to get National Identification Card, even if they have that. They have to get to a Telecom provider who can offer help and from the up-country villages, that is a long ride and expensive one. So the city-life appears in the midst of villages, as they have to fix these issues. The millions missing will need support and will need help that the state should help with and not just use the Telecom to do their dirty works. Peace.
Lule, Baker Battle – ‘Uganda: MPs Block SIM Card Registration Deadline’ (19.05.2017) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201705190314.html
Tumwebaze, Frank – ‘Progress on the SIM card Validation/Verification exercise’ (19.05.2017)
Uganda CrazyMedias – ‘MTN prepares for SIM-Card deadline with ‘soft suspension’ (18.05.2017) link: http://www.uganda.crazymedias.com/uncategorized/mtn-prepares-for-sim-card-deadline-with-soft-suspension/