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Archive for the tag “Nation Media Group”

Daily Monitor: Press Statement on the UCC directing it to suspend the online newspaper (07.02.2019)

Kadaga is off the rails: Using the UCC to stop Daily Monitor over a Healer Story!

The whole case of Rebecca Kadaga and possible agreement she made with the traditional healer Damiano Akuze, which the healer has claimed the Speaker of the Parliament has breached. As this stories are happening. Since we know Kadaga has addressed this already through the Parliamentary Clerk on the 1st February 2019, as the Daily Monitor on January 31st 2019, entittled “Traditional healer sues Kadaga, seeks shs 200m for job charm”.

We know this is a a story that the Speaker of Parliament don’t want out. As the Daily Monitor and East African has already deleted on their online outlet. As I checked after the original story on their online newspaper. It wasn’t there anymore as the publication tries to take a soft move towards the authorities.

The good thing, is even as that happen. There are other outlets who has used Daily Monitor as sources in the aftermath. As the Pulslive.ug published a similar article on the 31st January 2019. Where Salim Segawa reported: “Akuze claims in his suit that Speaker Kadaga had promised to build him a house, buy him a construction truck, a plot of land and four cows — all totalling to about UGX200m. The ritualist alleges that he was only paid UGX1m for the ‘job well done’. Akuze said he will provide evidence during the trial to prove Kadaga breached the contract” (Salim Segawa – ‘Ritualist claiming to give Speaker Kadaga spiritual powers to become successful sues her over breach of contract’ 31.01.2019).

We know, that this has hurt Kadaga, as of today, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) sent a public letter to notify the Daily Monitor, that the UCC immediately suspend the Monitor Publication and does so within 5 days. As the UCC wants information and knowledge of things to secure that the Monitor Publication could lose their license, because of this article.

Therefore, this shows how the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the ones in the upper echelon can use their means to silence the media. Instead of trying to tell another story or even continue the case in the courts as it was reported from. Then this wouldn’t have aspired to this level.

Even if the allegations made by Mr. Akuze are right or wrong. The Speaker, the UCC and the Parliament could have acted differently to the matter. If they care about the freedom of speech and the liberty to publish content. However, they want the sunshine stories, but not when it rains.

Speaker Kadaga, if she has enforced this or used her means of power to do this. Then she is assaulting one of the biggest media houses and online news outlets of the Republic. She does it because she doesn’t know how to manoeuvrer after the alleged story leaked.

Because of these acts, however, it makes it more believable that she did. Since she is so volatile and attacks with the spears of government. First dismissing it through the Clerk of Parliament, than a week later by using the UCC. That enforces the media licenses and can make media houses stop publishing.

If there was no smoke, there wouldn’t be any fire. But by the looks of it. There is more to the story, than Kadaga wants the public to know. This has hurt her pride and her privilege. She cannot use a helicopter away from this. Peace.

Uganda Communications Commission: Directive to Stop Illegal Provision of Data Communication Services (Online Newspapers) in Uganda (06.02.2019)

Kenya: Safaricom notice to Customers: Voice and Data Outage (22.07.2018)

PM Rugunda tough talk on Corruption should fall flat: Maybe he should read a paper or two!

Let me also warn anybody who is involved or planning to engage in corruption, that the long arm of the law will catch up with them. I would like to stress that when President Yoweri Museveni described this term as Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo, he meant it and we are all following suit. Poor performance will not be tolerated” – Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at the launch of NRM Manifesto Week, 11.05.2018).

I will go year by year, into Ministerial Policy Statements from the Office of the Prime Minister, to show the vast wasted expenses put into the system of this entity alone. Because he is addressing others, well aware, that his Ministry and Public Office is famous for its wastage, its ghosts and their methods of shady deals with business people. That is the reason for why Dr Rugunda is now the Prime Minister, as he had to take over from Amama Mbabazi, whose been on the top list of corrupt officials for years. So he is sort of wrong, saying the government will not tolerate corruption, that means he have to target himself and his own office.

From the Office of the Prime Minister in the Financial Year 2014/15, the use of funds on Newspapers was UGX 276,2m. On Photocopying it was estimated UGX 945,5m. Welfare and Entertainment got UGX 303m. On government business, the PM needed UGX 239,000,000 Shillings on snacks!

From the Office of the Prime Minister in the Financial Year 2015/16, the use of funds on Newspapers was UGX 212,3m. On Photocopying it was estimated UGX 873m. Welfare and Entertainment got UGX 205,7m. Special Meals and Drinks got UGX 288m.

From the Office of the Prime Minister in the Financial Year 2016/17, the use of funds on Newspapers UGX 236,3m. On Photocopying it was estimated UGX 1,768bn. Welfare and Entertainment got UGX 182,2m. Special Meals and Drinks got UGX 378,7m.

I didn’t even look that hard into the MPS, but if I had, I am sure I could have found more pressing and questionable spending by the Office. Since they are spending on all sorts of projects, which could in hindsight just be on paper and not in reality. Because this OPM is known for ghost-projects, ghost-refugees and so-on. Therefore, the OPM and PM should be careful warning anyone else, when his own office is questionable a best and isn’t having oversight of it.

Therefore, when PM Rugunda sends out warning, maybe he should use less funds on snacks, special foods and also on Newspapers. I doubt he and his fellas read it that much, they should be preoccupied with the projects in Northern Uganda, the Youth Livelihood Projects and whatnot that is under his office portefolio.

And by the way, the photos of the PM dropping cash-in had while campaigning for the General Election 2016, doesn’t make him the stature of confidence in the department of trust and transparency. As who knows where that came from and what account they accounted it in. Nevertheless, this the NRM way. Peace.

President Museveni letter to Kwagalana Group: “Re: Appreciation” (29.04.2018)

Opinion: Mzee cannot handle real coverage of himself!

Well, again the lectures has to start, as the man whose says he is about free press and democracy, he has to call in a meeting to lecture them how to cover him. Not to attend a meeting of sorts, where the standing of the nation, no no, that is another bargain for another day. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, will tell stories of bravery from 1986 and beyond. He will express discontent, where his own words are taken out of proportion, because his erratic mind and his stances is changing with the wind. It would have been better to just drop a report and show the reality, however, the President wants positive spin ala Softpower or Chimpreports and so on. He doesn’t want media who questions and finds faults. Because the President is never wrong, everyone else is!

“President Yoweri Museveni has summoned all media owners and managers in Uganda for a meeting at State House Entebbe. The meeting was confirmed by the presidency in a brief message to journalists. “HE the President is due to meet media owners and managers today at Entebbe State House,” reads a message from Museveni’s press handlers. Accordingly, the agenda of the meeting is not yet clear, but inside sources hint on the fact that Museveni wants to dissuade the media from fanning conflicts between him and religious leaders as well as request for better coverage regarding the rampant cases of kidnap in the country” (Moses Namayo – ‘Museveni summons media owners’ 11.05.2018, Nilepost.co.ug).

Museveni has had a hard time with the media, he has closed radios, bullied newspapers and editors. That is why some of the most prominent reporters and notable writers are still in exile, not in Uganda anymore. Because they cannot stay there in fright of the penalties their writings will have. Everyone is supposed to praise every word coming out of the President mouth. Even when he is one week saying the priest and clergy are good folks, next week bashing them for connecting with politics and thirdly wondering why the clergy is silent doing nothing during the celebration of the martyrs?

That is just how the days goes by, and he expect everyone to tune into his message and his deluded beliefs. As he is the master and chief, the mastermind and the inventor of liberation, even as he keeps the whole republic as hostages to his rule. That is the magician who thinks he tricks everyone, but only tricks himself. President Museveni isn’t that bright or that smart, even the street smart, non-educated and the villager can see through it. That is why his own party officials was rebuked recently in Rukungiri.

So, don’t expect the fountain of honour to be regarding the media. It is all about himself and his agenda. That he needs to massage the message. There aren’t anything new, just that they need guidance to follow his memo and not think for themselves. That is the patriotic stance of the republic, to be on guard and follow the leader. If you don’t then your rights can be revoked. Peace.

Opinion: Is Collymore the only person who can run Safaricom?

That Bob Collymore has no returned to Safaricom is a sign of the state of affairs, the man whose through 2016 got the dirty laundry in the streets for everyone to see. That Safaricom and Vodaphone takes him back. Shows that the company is so big, it doesn’t care about public perception or their ordeal of the last two years. As they can get scratch free from the dirt and thinks people forget. Collymore is a shady character and runs a dirty business. However, it is profitable, that is why the leadership above him keeps him. They want the easy money and wants to run the market of telecom’s in Kenya. That is what Safaricom does so well.

That Collymore was directly involved in the General Elections, that his misuse of the company within the Results Transmissions, that doesn’t matter now. That the Safaricom used their backbone to support the Jubilee, by canceling and stopping the M-Pesa Paybill to the National Super Alliance (NASA). Shows the lack of tolerance and their political stance. They did that with passion, while fixing and making sure the fraud of an election went through with their back-channels with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, also with Cambridge Analytica and whatever else that was needed to secure the results into the famous undisclosed server. Collymore did this and fixed that with IEBC, while stopping the cash-flow to NASA. A clear indication of his works. That was the year after the damaging internal report from KPMG.

The KPMG agreement showed how the Safaricom misused their place, their tenders and the procurement of installations of 4G, M-Pesa software and direct dealing with third-parties. This was done in a fashion where the leadership was eating of the top and putting the bills on the consumers. At a rate that was insane. That the 18th February 2016 KPMG Report should mean the end of a career for a leader and CEO like Collymore. But Vodaphone doesn’t give a rats ass. They don’t care as long as their profits are souring in Kenya. They are oblivious and nurturing their pockets, nothing else matters. Even if they are within the pockets of cartels, election-rigging and midst of public outrage. As long as the pockets are filled with shillings, they don’t mind. They can still be proud-cock and be chiefs.

That Safaricom paid of the local-media houses with ad-revenue, that they used their place to keep themselves on top. That doesn’t matter, because the results are blindly positive, even if everyone know knows that the company is run like the mafia. Controlling everything it can, not only selling Mobil-Data, Mobile-Money and Communications, but they are also a FinTech company that has the information on the public that other doesn’t. Who knows how they are using that and misusing that to gain even more profits. When Facebook does it? Why shouldn’t Safaricom too?

That Collymore should be gone, that is the reality, there should be someone who could muster trust and show that its a decent company, not a pillar of power in Kenyan Politics. Which it has become and where it muster all capabilities with the funds to slash stories in the media and also to be directly involved in Results Transmission during the General Elections. Therefore, the importance of the company is beyond communications between the citizens and their data. But also the perception of the trust between them.

Collymore is now the epitome of what is wrong with businesses in Kenya. He is the significant prospect of someone who misuses his position for monetary gain. Instead of being there for just simple services and leave the office in the night. He has directed the company in the midst of public space, making sure his stories are portrayed and cleaning the dirt of his hands. Even if it doesn’t go off, it won’t, not this way.

So Vodaphone, I have one important question:

Where the no-one else on planet earth that have the capabilities to run Safaricom?

Seemingly there should be, but your still behind the man that are really involved in shady deals for you. Taking the dirt and eating it, so that the stakeholders can eat the profits without any questionable

Opinion: The EU is too late to the Party, when they are now asking for Electoral Reforms in Uganda!

It feels deliberate, that Eduardo Kukan dropped a statement on the 8th March 2018 as the General Election in Uganda was in February 2016. That is two years after, this is the Follow-Up Mission to the Electoral Observation Mission, that is long finished and didn’t deliver anything of significance. The whole thing ended up being a charade and mockery of the principals the EU is supposed to stand for. The rigging, the spending and buying votes, the inside deals and pre-ticked ballots should all say that the re-election to a fifth official term and unofficially 7th shouldn’t be legitimized by any entity. This is the same fellas that left Kololo, because the President’s stance on the ICC. Like they didn’t know?

So, we are in March 2018 and its two years and a month since the entered the port and all of the containers are left, all produce is eaten, all parts of the products is sold, stolen or gone. Therefore, there is very little to regard about the process. Very little the EU can do, because they are beholden to the man they validated. They validated the Supreme Court ruling, they validated the Mbabazi petition, they accepted the stolen votes from Besigye and the obvious lies of the Kiggundu Electoral Commission in favor of Museveni.

The EU should have pushed for the reforms in 1995-1996 if they we’re serious. While the President still looked like he cared a little bit and was a donor-friendly guy, now he despise anyone questioning him and his authority. He is always right, and the rest of you is wrong or can be bought. That is President Museveni now. They could have had a short in 2000-2001, even 2005-2006. Even as the term-limits was deposed at the time. When the true reality was that Museveni had no place of really retiring and spend time with his cows. The EU could have pushed for reforms in 2010-2011, even as the Walk to Work demonstrations (W2W) and the Activists 4 Change (A4C) who both challenged the Presidency. Clearly, the EU could have done more as an outside entity, if they cared about the Electoral Reforms.

So now, that the last election went through, the syncopates, the technocrats and cronies of Museveni is elected, appointed as advisors and whatnot. The EU is asking and begging for changes, since suddenly now is the time. Like Museveni would care about the plight of the Follow-Up Mission in 2018, when he just gotten his carrot in December 2017, the Life Presidency. Did the EU miss that charade? Did they sleep in Brussels and eating Belgian waffles? That is how it seems to me.

That the President that has centralized most of the power around him and his State House would now care about the EU, is to say bluntly naive. That the EU comes with recommendations now will not be listened too. Unless, they are dropping bunch of external funds and juicing the rabbit a little bit. Because Museveni is eating, his cronies is too and there is nothing you can tell him.

So when the EU stated this on the 8th of March 2018, its not hard to understand, why it is like this: “ The EU EFM has been heartened to find that the recommendations of the EU EOM have been disseminated across several institutions of State and that many interlocutors were familiar with the content of the recommendations. While there has been virtually no progress on implementation of the recommendations to date, awareness of proposals, and the grounds thereof, is a crucial first step in the achievement of the recommendations. Similarly, there is widespread awareness of the directives of the Supreme Court” (Eduardo Kukan – ‘EU Election Follow-up Mission to Uganda urges Authorities to take positive steps to improve electoral process’ 08.03.2018).

Like did you think the man, that has been running since a coup in 1986 would give in and change to a more democratic structure, the one who house-arrest his biggest threat without any jurisdiction or right by laws? Do you think the man who has all the state coffers, has all the bidders at his feet, will finally give way to your advice? Do you think the man who has used the guns to silence opposition and does it will kind of acronyms too.

I hate to say it to you Kukan, but your late to the party. The party-goers have left, they have their whiskey, their Waragin, their vodka and their Nile Brew, but are not interested in your anecdotes. They would have mattered some time ago, when the fire was burning, when Usher and Radio & Weasel was banging on the stereo. But now, the party has died down, the only left is the straws and the memories of the late night charade.

Kukan, you should have acted swiftly, you should have cared about the implications, but your entity and others validated Museveni. Just like you have done in the past. You let him of the hook and this here, will be a stain, but not something that covers the obvious. The theft of February 2016. That you accepted and did for selfish reasons beyond me.

You could have, you should have, but you never did. Peace.

FinTech Companies in Kenya: Are now evading the personal space of costumers to provide them services!

Today, I will write about how international businesses are using their power and their markets strategy, while people are giving up their private communications and other vital information for simple transactions between family and friends, also when borrowing micro-credit or buying solar-cells through credit. This is all based on the Privacy International recently released report and the quotes are taken from there. It shows vital information taken from citizens who uses apps and financial services in their daily lives. Clearly, they have accessed certain freedoms for the trade with these Kenyans. The business transactions and the trade is not only making direct profits for the corporations allowing direct transactions, but also delivering services like payday loans and buying equipment. Still, it has a special price and they have to sign-up to give away certain aspects of their lives to gain this. That is what is interesting because it says something of how much of the personal space these corporations are getting from the persons they are profiting from!

The term ‘fintech’ has been defined by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as: “a dynamic segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology sectors where technology-focused start-ups and new market entrants innovate the products and services currently provided by the traditional financial services industry.” (Privacy International, P: 10, 2017).

Yet a change that has not been much explored is that M-Pesa also produces a vast amount of data for the telco Safaricom. Each of the millions of transactions that take place a year tell a story. They tell the story of how the small business is operating: the money they’re sending to their suppliers, the transactions that are taking place. But it tells other stories as well: the money that comes in and then is sent to the hospital. The school fees paid by the biological father, unknown to anyone except the mother, father and Safaricom. But there is also a way in which this data is known by third parties. The transmission of the content of the money transfers over M-Pesa is encrypted. However, the details of any transactions are sent, unencrypted, by plain SMS. Even if M-Pesa transactions themselves are sent via secure and encrypted means, the account information is not. The messages that someone sends for receiving or sending money include the name of the recipient (from the registration of the SIM), the amount sent, and their current balance. This facilitates the gathering of personal data by apps. The fact that the transactions can be tracked becomes a large part of the power of the lenders, as in the Kenyan example, leaves a trail via the M-Pesa SMS messages for both customer and retailer. As shall be illustrated, this is an aspect of M-Pesa of which fintechs are able to take advantage” (Privacy International, P: 29, 2017).

Tala App:

From the data provided by the app, decisions are made about whether and how people repay their loans. One of the key pieces of data is to analyse the content of SMS messages for the records of M-Pesa payments. These are very valuable records to analyse; for example, if the person seeking a loan has a small business, it is a good measure of the health of the business and the money entering and leaving the business. But, according to Tala, it can also be used to analyse how people are actually using their loans, as frequently the money they receive from Tala will leave someone’s M-Pesa account immediately (for example, to pay school fees or a hospital loan, or an individual). But the analysis of the data by Tala extends beyond this, to make analyses based on data and information that are, at best, unexpected to be used for credit scoring. For example, Tala analyses call logs: their analysis has found that people who make regular calls to family are 4% more likely to repay their loan. To do this analysis, they need to know who your family is: from the content of text messages that call someone “mama”, and the pattern of calls” (Privacy International, P: 30, 2017).

Branch:

One difference from Tala is that Branch also makes use of Facebook for authentication; as discussed below, this is allowed under Facebook’s terms and conditions. Another factor that Branch uses for its decision-making is the behaviour of your friends, and their repayment patterns for Branch loans. How does Branch know who your friends are? They have a refer-a-friend feature (as does Tala), which is one source of this data. But they can also see your Facebook friends, and your call log to know who is contacted regularly” (Privacy International, P: 31, 2017).

M-Kopa:

The data that M-Kopa gathers from the device via the SIM is information like location (using cell data, not GPS), the charge level in the battery, and what devices are plugged in. They will also soon be gathering data on the television programmes watched. This specific data on programming is not data that it is planning on selling, but rather to use to develop its own services in the future. M-Kopa’s website states that, “After completing payments, customers own the product outright.” However, the customer does not own their data. The terms and conditions of a M-Kopa loan make the company’s position on data clear: “M-KOPA shall have absolute and sole ownership of … the data which is obtained by the Customer’s use of the Device.” Customers have no right to even see their own

data, apart from the provisions under Credit Reference Bureau rules. For M-Kopa, it ultimately comes down to a business decision: “If data privacy was important for the Kenyan consumer, we would do it,” states Chad Larson, the Chief Credit Officer at M-Kopa. At the same time, both M-Kopa and its investors have a viewpoint that their use of data is ethical” (Privacy International, P: 32, 2017).

Control over the data:

A significant issue with the fintech companies in Kenya, is that they keep access to the data. They keep the data—and, in some cases analyse it, even if the user has stopped being a customer of theirs, and has deleted their app. Branch is explicit that it keeps the data even after a user uninstalls the app, and admits it is possibly doing further analysis on it, “we have that right.” Tala encourages people, even if they have been rejected for a loan, to keep the app; if they do delete it, Tala retains their data. This is so that, if the customer returns later, they can reinstall the app, go through some simple KYC checks, and be able to borrow again. M-Kopa, on the other hand, continues to collect data from the device even after the loan has been repaid” (Privacy International, P: 33, 2017).

Just as this reveals that Safaricom, the partly owned Vodacom Telecom Business have no trouble through the M-Pesa, the Cellphone Mobile-Money Transactions, that they can hold onto all information between all parts of the transactions. Like how a person send the messages of giving money to friend/family and at what point they picking up the mobile-money. This personal data is all incorporated into their apps, as they provide the services and keeps this fintech data on each of their clients.

As we see with the Tala App, which is also used to get loans. Tala analyses the personal SMS’s from the client to either give or not accept proposals for loans from their services. Tala are looking into the M-Pesa messages given to the client and are scanned by the app. To see if the client can actually be able to repay the debt possible sign-off from Tala. This proves that the Tala App is checking the credit history done with the services of M-Pesa, which is Safaricom/Vodacom. Branch another Fintech app is taking it further, they are also analyzing your behavior and who is your refer-friend on Facebook. They are clearly entitled to the private information of your networks before you get a loan. So they know exactly, who and when you contact friends and family on social media before giving you a loan. It shows how personal and how much information on app can get before you get the services needed from them.

M-Kopa are another one, who is directly saying that all information collected from their costumers are their to own and to use for later costumers. It can also be used after the usage. More of these Apps seems to do so. They are keeping this personal data even after the transactions, the loans and the purchase. This can be used to further get clients and knowledge of when the costumers need it more. So they can get them “addicted” to the services. We have no idea how they store this personal data or who they trade it with after gathering it all.

This should all be scrutinized and questioned, as it breaches with personal space collected with marketing and simple ploy to generate enough information to be able to gain the services from the companies. These companies are vultures of the costumers private space and uses it as leverage for their trade.

It is worrying how far they are taking it and how much personal information they are gathering to give them these services. Peace.

Reference:

Privacy International – ‘Fintech: Privacy and Identity in the New Data-intensive Financial Sector’ (November 2017)

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