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Archive for the tag “National Identification Cards”

The Importance of Mobile Money in Uganda

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.

Reference:

Mawejje, Joseph & Lakuma, Paul C. – ‘MACROECONOMIC EFFECTS OF MOBILE MONEY IN UGANDA’ (June 2017) – Economic Policy Research Centre, Makerere University

Uganda: NIRA – Clarification on Issues Raised in the “Story Panic as National ID Data Stolen” (26.06.2017)

CS Bett blames consumption of UNGA for the UNGA Crisis!

Certainly, one of these days the Jubilee government Cabinet Secretaries going to wake-up from their sleep and start to act with common sense. Since the release of subsidized maize and opening imports, the markets has not overflowed with Unga. Neither, the reality that some of the millers kept stockpiles of it, as they knew they would be subsidized from the state. So why sell it months ahead, when you can keep it steady and unleash when you get double bonus. The Jubilee government knows this and therefore right on the day of the subsidized maize and the possible export provisions came into effects. Boats with foreign maize came pouring in through the ports of Mombasa.

“He witnessed the arrival of 12,000 bags through the Rift Valley Railways yesterday. “To ensure every Kenyan enjoys the Sh90 subsidised maize flour, all maize from Mombasa will be removed using SGR, RVR and trucks,” Bett said. In two weeks, the market has been experiencing a shortage of unga. “Since we started the subsidised programme, we have witnessed more Kenyans preferring unga, thus the high demand for maize flour,” he said” (Ngotho, 2017).

CS Willy Bett, need some guidance, needs some reassurance and some sort of stiff upper-lips for insulting fellow citizens. It isn’t the sudden love for UNGA. This the staple food. This is what Kenyans are known to eat. UNGA, Ugali or Posho (Ugandan I know). Still, the maize flour meals is not a well-kept hidden secret. It would be like taking potatoes as out of the equation when feeding massive parts of Northern Europe. That is just the staple food. Period.

The CS clearly, has some internal issues and need to stop thinking he can deceive fellow citizens. As the indicated exports combined with the stockpiling was very evident. That people are buying lots of it now, is because they might even fear for more scarcity. Since it isn’t only drought, but man-made problems that has given way to shortage of UNGA.

It is time to wake-up for Mr. Bett and smell the UNGA. Time to see and relieve his fellow brothers and sisters. Not just find excuses upon excuses and think it can save his grace. You do not take away some-ones staple and think you can get away with it. Seriously, that is insulting. The insinuation and undermining of the needs and the will of Kenyans. Are evident in his approach to the UNGA crisis. This should not be forgotten, because his grace has clearly not done his job and then blames the citizens for either their staple food! Peace.

Reference:

Ngotho, Agatha – ‘Kenyans eating more ugali to blame for unga shortage – CS’ (20.06.2017) link: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/06/20/kenyans-eating-more-ugali-to-blame-for-unga-shortage-cs_c1582605?platform=hootsuite

Third time the Charm? President Museveni postpone Sim-Card Registration to August 2017!

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.

A quick update of the problematic launch of the supposed verified Sim-Cards in Uganda!

Angry Pre-Registered Costumers outside the Airtel Office in Kampala

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. Tumwebaze clearly ‘beeping’ the citizens on the #Simregistration!

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 registration@tangerine.co.ug 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.

Reference:

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/

Kenya: Seem like a public deception with artificial prices on Maize as the “GoK stamped” Maize arrives in stores!

You know something is fishy when the markets suddenly has maize flour in the stores as the 2 kg packaged that is produced in Kenya and milled in Kenya. This comes as the fixed subsidized prices comes into effect. Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, who has been in Port of Mombasa in the recent days. Being proud of the delivery of imported maize flour.

That their been shortage and that the markets has had less in storage is the evidence of the escalating prices. Therefore when COSMO millers comes with milled in March 2017 and is expiring in August 2017. Also, that the shortfall in between the fixed price and the balance has to be covered by the state. As the prices has clearly gone to high and than the government stepped in. But the ones coming of the boat during this week. Couldn’t suddenly appear in the shop. It had to be taken care of and repackaged, even milled if it was pure corn.

That the package of the milled maize flour now has the label of GoK, as the Jubilee fronting their good work. As they trying to look like they stopped a scandal and shortage. The Government clearly has either ordered the millers, agreed with the millers or tried to put a shortage to suddenly see the likes of COSMO filling the market with stock. The 30,000 tons of IVS Pinehurst couldn’t jump into the market this quickly and change into subsidy “GoK 90/-”, which is today’s new feature in Kenya. They want to look like a saviors, instead of the ones who created this. But it is suspect that milled in March dropped on the marked instant after the subsidized maize we’re released. It seems like clockwork.

So the questions doesn’t stop with the sudden drop and the evident approach. As Port of Mombasa and Millers clearly has worked in accordance with the government. As they had the papers for the package of flour and could quickly deliver it to the shops. Therefore, this seem like a planned enterprise as the delivered flour, which should gone from port to millers. Really hit the stores in amp-speed. Little two quick for that amount.

It makes it seem like it all was a short-con by the Jubilee, to gain popularity on the staple-food. As their stories of origin of the vessel and the maize, that even been countered by the Mexican Authorities, as well as the vessel came from Mauritius and not South Africa. There are certain aspect of this story, that seem like a ploy. To get the prices down, but at the same time make sure the millers are getting more for the maize, than they did before. Also, make sure the profits are steady on the grounds of drought and yields. As the subsidized maize flour will surely benefit the private producers, who already earn on the higher prices.

There are questions that will not be answered, the reality is that there are certain signs that Kenyans shouldn’t be duped. Surely, the price is better now after the subsidize from Jubilee. Still, the look of artificial prices and sudden drop that the government can do. Also, that the millers could label GoK so quickly. Shows there certain aspects that the Jubilee and the Millers didn’t consider. The suspicious intent is because the Jubilee has always been more promotion and PR than actually considering their policies. That is the legacy they will leave behind. Peace.

Kenya: Drought Alleviation (Government Food Subsidy) Programme (15.05.2017)

Port of Trouble: IVS Pinehurst arrival story and origin from the Jubilee doesn’t make sense!

The ship coming to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya, the IVS Pinehurst, which is owned by the Nisshin Shipping Co. Ltd, which is part of the Pool Operation at the Hansa Tankers. That is based in Bergen, Noway, so the Pinehurst is a bulk carrier. It is flagged through the Philippines. It’s call sign is DUHUB and it was built by Tsuneishi Cebu in 2015.

On Vessel Finder, the 13th January 2017the Pinehust was in Mumbai (ex. Bombay), India at 13:04 UTC. The next port it was in was Toamasina, Madagascar, which was on the 19th February 2017 at 11:04 UTC. The last port before Mombasa was at Port Louis, Mauritius on the 22nd April 2017 at 12:03 UTC. As the Port of Mauritius reveals, is that the vessels discharging coal. Therefore, the vessel had to be filled with maize before leaving for Mombasa. Carriers from Port Louis to Mombasa on route alternatives takes about 19 to 22 days. Therefore, the vessel couldn’t really have been so many days in between the tracking on Vessel Finder and suddenly in Mombasa. Especially, since it delivered coal to Mauritius.

So when the Government of Kenya says this about the vessel, you start to wonder if they even know how to google or even if other people knows how to search for maritime vessels. I don’t really do that, but found quickly out this information from sites that verifies this.

Therefore, the verified news from from Business Daily Africa:

However, Transport Principal Secretary Dr Paul Mwangi said the maize was stored in South Africa and the vessel took only five days after importers were given the nod to ship it into the country.“The white maize was imported from South Africa from Mexico last year when there was a shortage in that country. The excess amount was stored in Durban and sold to Kenya by Inter Africa Gains PTY of Johannesburg,” Dr Mwangi said at the Mombasa port. “The maize is therefore Mexican White maize which was transhipped into Kenya from South Africa. The ship takes only five days to sail from South Africa to Mombasa and that is why the maize arrived quickly,” he added” (Marete, 2017).

So I wonder if Dr. Mwangi knows the internet and the inner-works of this. As it doesn’t take much searching for me find all these information, if the PS Mwangi, think that wasn’t enough. The Mexican Embassy in Nairobi has today officially said: “MEXICO DENIES direct deal on maize with Kenya and has no declarations on any commercial transactions, embassy in Kenya says” (NationBreakingNews, 15.05.2017). So that the PS Mwangi are saying this seems to be a lie. There are certainly something the Jubilee isn’t telling, as the Duty Free was decided and quickly as the duty free maize and sugar. Came into effect just days ahead of the shipments coming to ports. Peace.

Reference:

Marete, Gitonga – ‘ Maize was shipped through South Africa, State now says’ (15.05.2017) link: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/news/Maize-was-shipped-through-South-Africa-govt-says/539546-3927934-p0wqcl/

Communique of the Embassy of Mexico on the Sale of Non GMO White Maize to Kenya (15.05.2017)

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