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Archive for the tag “Uganda Communications Commission”

Digital Campaigning: Expect opposition candidates to be blocked from the air-waves during the campaigns…

The Electoral Commission released the Road Map for the General Elections of 2021 today. This is so everyone involved, every stakeholder and party can adjust their programs. They can work towards the deadlines, deliver their nominated candidates and prepare for impact. We can all assume this is done for some transparency. However, there been no legislation nor any changes of substance since the 2016 General Elections. So expect another rigged race and outcome, which is already pre-fixed by the buddies within the EC.

To think otherwise in 2020 is naive and deluded. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) will own the Parliament, will hold the stranglehold on the Presidency and will only give breadcrumbs to the Opposition. That is what it does to show sympathy and also prove to donors that it has some sort of democracy. Even when all know it isn’t real and there are no level playing-field.

The Road Map today was striking and COVID-19 based, as the EC is preparing for digitally campaigning for all the parties involved. The Electoral Commission stated today this: “Mass rallies will not be allowed but campaigns will be conducted mainly through media” (EC, 16.06.2020).

With this in mind, the candidates on various of levels has a short span of time to hit the airwaves, online outlets and on the TV screens. This is coming as the state has enforced the OTT Tax and made it expensive to be on social media. The state also known for blocking opposition leaders to on the local radios. If they are sincere in this election. They will open up the radios, let the opposition candidates have conversations and appeal to the public through there. As the rural areas isn’t fully operative with internet to every village and home. There are not even electricity to every home. That is why this strategy will backfire and someone will not get the whole gist from all candidates.

We can also expect that the President and the NRM blocks the airwaves for the times of the speeches of the President. Especially in the time frame of the digitally campaigns. That is just inevitable. He will block Besigye and Bobi Wine from speaking out at the same time. He will not accept that. That is hurting his fragile ego.

There are just something we can anticipate. There will be self-made sessions on Facebook and Live Taping, which is not needed with any media house. However, if the people want to reach far and wide. Than they need to hit the airwaves, needs to be on the TV stations and be able to speak across the platforms. We have seen in the past that the Uganda Communication Commission has sanctioned Radios, TV stations for having Bobi Wine on. They have also blocked Besigye, even RDCs has blocked Besigye for appearing on Radio shows. So, we anticipate a hurdle and destructive patterns here.

The system and control from high above will be visible here. I don’t expect it to really change. However, they should if they want it to look good. I expect arrests, house-arrests and other things. Just as the opposition are trying to travel to radio stations and such. That is just the sad reality Also expect police to block stations and stop from transmitting. This is just something that will appear. Later the UCC and RDC will have an excuse and do it for “safety”. Even if the Opposition is supposed to be allowed on the airwaves. While the NRM candidates and Flag-Bearers can do whatever they feel.

This is just my imagination, but I don’t think its far fetched from the possibly reality in a few months time. Unless, they suddenly opens for rallies and then venues will be closed. Where the Opposition will be chased by the authorities and sometimes end behind bars. Peace.

Opinion: Not shocked that Tamale Mirundi is under fire again

Tamale Mirundi, the motor-mouth, former Presidential Press Secretary and now former long time host or contributor on NBS Television. He has been on NBS Television for years now. Since around the time he was sacked from the State House. Even if he has all along claimed wealth, following, taxis, book deals and whatnot. Still kept his day-job and shown loyalty towards the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Now on the day the Electoral Commission is unleashing its roadmap for the election in 2021. That day the news of the suspension of Mirundi comes. It is just so fitting, that the NBS is doing it now. He could be talking and commenting on everything happening ahead of the elections. It would be pure fire and he would always defend the President.

Mirundi has been rough, he get the quotes and the ratings. That is why his somewhat popular voice on NBS. However, everyone knows his a voice of the government. Though his voice is obnoxious and sometimes outrageous. They still let him go off, because its good TV. I cannot blame NBS. He made entertaining views and perspectives. Him triggering himself and speaking like a AK47 makes people look a bit longer and actually follow a political programme.

Who else could carry a yellow beret and a hammer on TV and get away with it. Only Mirundi could walk around and promote the NRM without any fuzz or hesitation. So Tamale has done his job and with full vigour for years. They fired him for causing havoc in the State House, but still saw his value. That is why he was eligible and able to stay relevant on the screen for so long.

He could get away with gun-running at a radio station, being vocal against certain members of the State House and still be a commentator at one of the biggest TV channels of the nation. This was all happening because he was one of them. Though he has acted a fool and went wild, but haven’t to pay anything for doing so.

The Uganda Communication Commission has switched off his broadcast on a radio station before. So him being suspended from participating at NBS TV isn’t new for him, but following a pattern and historical precedence in concern to this man. It’s all Mirundi folks.

Tamale Mirundi has this gift. When you have such passion, such wordings and speaking at high volume. At some point you trigger someone off. Mirundi should know this, but clearly he doesn’t care. His rants are epic, even if I don’t agree with anything of what’s his saying. Mirundi is the gaslighter-in-chief for the regime.

That is why its weird his suspended from the NBS TV. Just like Mira Matembe became too a while ago. She was for the reason of being a strong and independent sole, who has no issues or quarrels hammering at the government. However, that is not the case with Mirundi.

Mirundi might be a lot to handle, be vocal spirit and speaking without a filter, but he was always on point for the government. Its not like he was challenging the State House, the High Above or anyone in reality. He just continued to speak and let bygones be bygones. That is who he is and what he has become.

Am I shocked about this? No, was this inevitable? Yes. Peace.

Mobile Money Tax shortfall: People change behaviour after levying an unfair tax

Levy on mobile money contributed a deficit of UGX 30.48 billion which can be explained by the fact that high value clients withdraw their funds from agency banking e.g MTN has had a drop of 36 percent in MM transaction values since the introduction of the levy on mobile money” (Uganda Revenue Authority, 06.02.2020).

There is also reported that it has been a 36% drop in Mobile Money Transactions since the enaction of the Exercise Duty in 2018. That means, the added tax on the MM transactions are backfiring. The State isn’t adding revenue, but ensuring that people are finding other ways of moving their money.

This is not shocking, that people change behaviour, when the state makes it more expensive. As the people used these services to send each other money by convenience. Now, one third of the transactions are gone. Meaning, the ones that can change their ways has done that.

The losers are not only the Telecoms, but also the state. As the shortfall of taxes got to be covered elsewhere. As the state had put this into the budgets to cover other state works. This means the targets for domestic revenue wasn’t considering the implications of doing it. As, there wouldn’t be an natural reaction to the consequences to the new taxes.

Instead of increasing the tax base, they are making it smaller and not able to find measures that makes sense. The state has clearly done this without due diligence, neither also configured the stats and the possible behaviour of the public. As their ways gotten more taxed and not considering that they would stop, if they found it to expensive or unreasonable.

The MM tax and the OTT taxes was measures made to tax the digital market-space in the Republic. However, they have both been flawed and also not met their targets, because the public found other ways of doing things.

The ironies about the MM saga is that before the tax, the business of MM was growing. A natural growth and having more transactions every year. Now, that they levied the tax its has a big fall. That is a result of the MM Tax and the public is not having it. Peace.

Opinion: OTT Tax on Data Bundles is like a dual-VAT

“URA Commissioner General Doris Akol told the Finance Committee of Parliament chaired by Henry Musasizi that the controversial OTT Tax will be charged directly on data instead of mobile money to curb the evasion” (NBS Television, 14.01.2020).

I wonder if Doris Akol has thought this through or is winging it? As she see the losses and lack of results, revenue or tax base with the 200 shillings of doom. The whole OTT Tax is to expensive for the public daily. Now, she wants to move it and indirectly tax it instead.

Surely, they will get revenue, but this will make it more expensive to buy data-bundles for the customers and make the packages more viable. VPN and similar networks to circumvent the usage and payments of the daily OTT Tax have beaten the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). That is why URA does this now.

It is a sign of defiance and civil disobedience. They are trying to patch the hurt. But will this succeed? Will more try to only load data through Wi-Fi networks and wireless networks in general. Not load so much data on the go. Because, people are smart and tries to undercut extra taxes. Especially, when on the data is already paid VAT and the Mobile Company pay their taxes on the profits too.

Therefore, URA and Akol seems fishing. They will raise revenue, but also make the data bundles more expensive and with that stop plenty of people from buying bigger data bundles for surfing online on your smart-phone.

That is just the mere reality. It is a sign, yet again that the OTT is a failed project, who didn’t hit the targets and wasn’t measured right. If it was, the aim and the bargain wouldn’t be like this. That is not happening.

This method is a clever way of adding the costs of data, while charging for service not necessarily used. The OTT Services, which is the reason for why these are charged. Because, the data could be used for other things and therefore, is violating its attempt to make it costly for certain usage on online.

This is again, pushing one story, pushing one tax and trying to tax the public by any means. When the hook doesn’t work, they use the crook. Instead of doing directly, they want to do it indirectly and initially in some way adding a separate VAT on data-bundles masked as OTT Tax. That is really it.

We all know this, URA verify it today. That the only things certain in life is death and taxes. Thanks Akol for reminding us. Peace.

Uganda Telecom Limited: President Museveni letter to Gen. Kahinda Otafiire – ‘Re: Administration of Uganda Telecom Limited’ (09.11.2019)

Only Museveni can celebrate Independence Day: Bobi Wine’s concert is blocked!

Besides, police would not be able to fully provide the requested for security as our main effort will be on securing the national Independence Day celebrations in Sironko district,” the letter reads in part” (NBS Television, 08.10.2019)

The Osabala Concert at One Love Beach on the 57th Independence of the Republic has been blocked by the Police Force for their ordinary reason. “Safety” and whatever else concerns the state has, as the musician and politician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine was prepared to hold a concert at his venue again. Since, everything else is steadily blocked for him during the last two years.

This is the first concert his tried to hold in the Republic in a long while. Not the first nor the last time the National Resistance Movement will close of venues of other people and politicians celebrating independence day. Because, its only an independence celebration if the President and his cronies are there. If not its deemed unfit and dangerous.

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) are planning also an event at the FDC Headquarters at Najjankumbi, but don’t expect that to go through either. As the state has a gift of blocking these events.

I didn’t expect Bobi Wine to get this. Just like the other politicians who has tried to celebrate the day without His Excellency. That is just mere impossible in the Republic. The freedom is limited and only the one given by him. Your lucky if your free and have the liberty to celebrate it. Especially if your figure who oppose him. Than, your freedoms are limited and your moves are restricted. Just like in the manner of the concert of Bobi Wine.

He just had to be blocked. Even if there is no evidence, no clues or no intelligence saying it will be an issue. Just that the orders from high above says so. That the President doesn’t want to be outshined or be exposed for his hypocrisy on the 57th Independence Day. That cannot happen and Bobi Wine just have to shut-up.

That is initially what the President is saying. Expect arrests either today or tomorrow. Of fellow peers, of people going towards One Love Beach. Expect FDC leaders in trouble too. They are always in the mix. While President will bless an venue with his deception of freedom, liberty and liberation, which was made for him and his cronies, but not the whole republic. Peace.

UCC: Suspension of all Sim Registration with the Use of Refugee Cards and Attestation Letters from OPM (07.10.2019)

Opinion: The UCC report on breach of “minimum standard” is the anti-broadcasting Bobi Wine Report!

The Uganda Communication Commission report on the breach of minimum standard is really about the media houses, radios and TV-Stations broadcasting events and court-trials. This investigation report goes on supposed breaches of broadcasting standards.

All observations and affairs in these circumstances just happen to be involving the People Power Movement, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and his affairs with the law. The demonstrations or the return from a police station.

This being the reports from Bukedde TV, BBS, NTV and NBS Television. What is really striking from all of this, is that the UCC recommends actions of “remain impartial and non-partisan in the course of their work”. Still, this whole report itself is only looking to breaches following Bobi Wine and sometimes Dr. Kizza Besigye,

These all stems from the same time and incidents surrounding Bobi Wine on the 29th April 2019. The UCC is all looking into the messages about this. Not about any other instance or investigating how the media houses followed the messages of the state. No, only how it blessed the air-ways with content following an arrest of unlawful assembly, as the politician tried to hold an Kyarenga Extra Concert on East Monday; Which the state blocked.

The report doesn’t look into how the state acted towards him. Neither is the mandate of UCC to do this. But it is interesting that their scope is on this and they are showing loyalty to the “high above” this way. Because, it makes it obvious.

That the reporters, the media houses, the radios and TV-Stations should be “non-partisan” the NRM way and not follow up on arbitrary arrest of opposition figures. Because, that incite violence, startle the public to demonstrate or even can cause “riots”. Since, this will not happen if they just show Museveni in 3D all day or make mash-ups of his latest speeches.

This is an targeted assault on media freedom from the UCC. This is biased attack on these media house. Nothing else too it. Peace.

Uganda Police Force: Police Investigates Minister’s Death Treats (26.08.2019)

Uganda Telecom Limited: Influence Peddling, Abuse of Office and Fraud in Relations to Administration of Uganda Telecom Limited by Honourable Evelyn Anite (09.08.2019)

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