Posts tagged as: phrase

Whatsapp Hitch Causes Worldwide Apprehension

Photo: Daily Monitor

WhatsApp on mobile phone.

Ugandans Wednesday night took to social media to complain after they realized they could not use WhatsApp to send or receive messages.

The problem that started soon after 11pm, was first thought by many, to be a local problem. It soon turned out that it was a worldwide problem, as the messaging service was apparently facing connectivity issues.

Website DownDetector.co.uk recorded the incident, but there was no immediate response from WhatsApp officials.

From initial apprehension, the outage soon turned into a topic for jokes on other social media platforms like twitter, before it was resolved at around Thursday 1.20am. On twitter, hashtag #whatsappdown started trending.

More than 1 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family. It is free and offers simple, secure, reliable messaging and calling, available on phones all over the world.

The name WhatsApp is a pun on the phrase What’s Up.

WhatsApp was founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton who had previously spent 20 years combined at Yahoo. WhatsApp joined Facebook in 2014, but continues to operate as a separate app with a laser focus on building a messaging service that works fast and reliably anywhere in the world.

Uganda

Uganda, Tanzania Ranked Worst on Gender Policy Score Card

Uganda and Tanzania trail behind the rest of the East African countries on the score card sheet when it comes to the… Read more »

UN Rights Chief Alarmed By Rape Chants in Burundi

Photo: The Citizen

Soldiers stand near protesters (file photo).

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has expressed outrage at an apparent widespread pattern of rallies in several provinces across Burundi, where young men from the Imbonerakure militia – the youth wing of the ruling CNDD-FDD political party – repeatedly chant a call to impregnate or kill opponents.

According to a UN statement released Tuesday, High Commissioner Zeid said the organised nature of the marches, coupled with reports of ongoing serious human rights violations, lay bare the “campaign of terror” being waged in Burundi.

“The grotesque rape chants by the young men of the Imbonerakure across several provinces in various parts of Burundi are deeply alarming – particularly because they confirm what we have been hearing from those who have fled Burundi about a campaign of fear and terror by this organised militia,” Zeid said.

The statement cites “a chilling video” circulating on social media showing more than 100 members of the Imbonerakure repeating dozens of times their call to “make opponents pregnant so that they can give birth to Imbonerakure.”

Another group then repeats a chant in which the phrase “he or she should die” is audible some 19 times, in a rally that reportedly took place in Ntega commune, Kirundo province, in the country’s northeast.

According to the UN, following the release of the video, on April 5, the CNDD-FDD issued a statement condemning the chanting and stating that a preliminary enquiry has found that there were “influences outside the party.”

“While I welcome the statement by the CNDD-FDD condemning the chants in Ntega, reports that senior officials were present at other rallies are very disturbing. There also needs to be an acknowledgement that the Ntega rally was not an isolated incident, but rather the tip of the iceberg, brought to light only because it was captured on camera.” The condemnation is meaningless if, instead of a putting a stop to such events, senior government officials continue to take part in such rallies,” Zeid said.

“Similar, larger rallies have been organised across the country by officials from the government and the President’s party. On April 1 in the northern province of Kayanza, around 2,500 Imbonerakure reportedly marched from Kayanza football stadium along the main road chanting similar slogans, inciting rape and violence against opponents. Reports suggest that senior officials were present at this rally, the UN statement says. Reports also suggest, it adds, that similar chanting occurs regularly at weekly Imbonerakure meetings in the southern province of Makamba.

On April 7, the President of the Burundi Senate is alleged to have incited people to violence in Makamba, reportedly calling for all suspected rebels to be “silently collected.” This is reported as the latest of many such speeches where the President of the Senate has reportedly used coded language, with its roots in the mass violence from Burundi’s past, to incite followers to violence.

Furthermore, on April 8, following the inauguration of a CNDD-FDD party office in the eastern province of Ruyigi, it is noted that about 200 people, including Imbonerakure, began chanting for the rape of opponents so that more Imbonerakure would be born. They were reportedly instructed by party officials to stop.

Zeid said: “The Government needs to stop pretending that the Imbonerakure are nothing but a community development group. Such blatant and brazen hate speech and incitement to violence must not be tolerated, nor encouraged.”

“Reports indicate a major increase in cases of enforced disappearance between November 2016 and March 2017, as well as the discovery of dozens of unidentified bodies in various parts of the country during that time. We have also received numerous reports alleging that people are being targeted due to their ethnicity.” Between April 2015 and April 19 this year, UN figures indicate that 401,573 people have fled Burundi.

Loans Joy for Diploma Students

By Athuman Mtulya

Dodoma — The government has said it could provide loans to more diploma students in an apparent break from its position on State funding of higher education announced last June.

Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training minister Prof Joyce Ndalichako yesterday told the parliamentary committee on legal and constitutional affairs that the government would expand the loans spectrum to include diploma students pursuing courses of ‘national priority’.

The minister appeared before the committee to shed light on part three of the Written Laws, Miscellaneous Amendments (No.4) Bill, 2016 which proposes an amendment of the Higher Education Student’s Loan Board (HESLB) Act, 2004 to take diploma courses on board.

Prof Ndalichako said currently, loans were being issued only to students pursuing degree programmes, and acknowledged that the situation left a huge demand for financial assistance from diploma students.

However, she was quick to note that not all diploma students would be eligible for the loans. She said her office would, from time to time, select eligible courses in line with government’s priorities.

“For instance, we are now focused on building an industrialised economy, but in practice one engineer needs to be assisted by four technicians and 16 artisans. This means even these middle level cadres are as important to the nation’s development, and in order to have the required balance, the government will have to sponsor them as well. After all, all these are our children and they come from very similar background, and that is why we are proposing for these amendments,” said Prof Ndalichako.

The government announced last June it would no longer provide loans to students pursuing diplomas in education (science). Prof Ndalichako told the committee since the demand was huge the government decided to widen the spectrum and not limiting it to education only.

Malindi MP Ally Saleh (CUF) said the government should explain the phrase “national priority”. He expressed concerns over the fact that it was the minister who would determine what course was important.

“We might find ourselves confused as to who should be eligible,” he said adding, “Now, we hear that the government is focused on industries, but even in that area, we won’t only need engineers, technicians and artisans. The industries will need lawyers, accountants.”

Tanzania

Opposition Accuses Magufuli of Breaking Country’s Constitution

The main opposition Chadema has raised an alarm over President John Magufuli’s nomination of MPs,saying the Head of… Read more »

Uganda: Shs1 Billion Loaned Through Mobile Phones

By Mark Keith Muhumuza

Kampala — In just two months, the mobile micro-lending and saving platform, MoKash, has been adding an average of 15,000 customers per day, reaching 920,000 over the period. Launched in August and operated by MTN Uganda and the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), MoKash allows mobile phone owners to save and apply for micro-loans. This is the first platform operated by both a telecom company and bank that could carry out the function of a commercial bank.

“The biggest contributor is that the service is affordable, extremely simple and convenient to use with all transactions being completed in a matter of seconds.

To access the service, a customer does not go through a protracted registration and verification process or need to visit a banking hall to sign various documents,” Mr Phrase Lubega, the general manager, Mobile Financial Services, told Daily Monitor in an interview recently.

The service allows people to save money and earn annualised interest and also borrow money based on a credit rating developed by CBA and MTN Uganda.

Several people, Daily Monitor has talked to have borrowed amounts as low as Shs30,000 to take care of short-term financial needs. Interest on MoKash loans is at a monthly fixed rate of 9 per cent.

Both MTN and CBA could not reveal the exact figure of the savings they had mobilised and loans they had disbursed in the period. According to figures sent to this newspaper from CBA, the loans approved were over Shs1 billion for the two months period. Additionally, savings are also said to have reached Shs2 billion over the same period.

However, Daily Monitor understands that the savings could be hitting the Shs3 billion mark soon. According to the Bank of Uganda annual supervision report for 2015, the total commercial bank loans in the year stood at Shs10.8 trillion or Shs900b per month.

Traditional banking is known for its bureaucracy in the various processes including account opening. It can take up to a month to process a loan in a commercial bank.

Additionally, borrowing small amounts of Shs5,000 to Shs0.5m is not possible in most cases. Speaking to Business Daily recently, the CBA Group managing director Isaac Awuondo, said MoKash is currently processing an average of 2,000 loans per day; with an average loan size of Shs18,000.

“Customers so far say that the product is very convenient. They like the fact that they can earn interest on their savings and access instant loans when they need to borrow,” said Awuondo.

The service, however, hasn’t been short of glitches. In the first few weeks, it would go offline, sometimes making it hard for borrowers to access the system.

Some customers have failed to access loans despite having saved, while one customer revealed that a loan approval request reflected that money had been transferred to their mobile money accounts but upon checking, the money had not been transferred.

However, MTN reveals that such cases are isolated and being addressed.

Shs1 Billion Loaned Through Mobile Phones

Photo: Daily Monitor

A borrower carrying out a mobile money loan transaction on the Mokash platform. The platform is a joint operation by MTN and Commercial Bank of Africa.

By Mark Keith Muhumuza

Kampala — In just two months, the mobile micro-lending and saving platform, MoKash, has been adding an average of 15,000 customers per day, reaching 920,000 over the period. Launched in August and operated by MTN Uganda and the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), MoKash allows mobile phone owners to save and apply for micro-loans. This is the first platform operated by both a telecom company and bank that could carry out the function of a commercial bank.

“The biggest contributor is that the service is affordable, extremely simple and convenient to use with all transactions being completed in a matter of seconds.

To access the service, a customer does not go through a protracted registration and verification process or need to visit a banking hall to sign various documents,” Mr Phrase Lubega, the general manager, Mobile Financial Services, told Daily Monitor in an interview recently.

The service allows people to save money and earn annualised interest and also borrow money based on a credit rating developed by CBA and MTN Uganda.

Several people, Daily Monitor has talked to have borrowed amounts as low as Shs30,000 to take care of short-term financial needs. Interest on MoKash loans is at a monthly fixed rate of 9 per cent.

Both MTN and CBA could not reveal the exact figure of the savings they had mobilised and loans they had disbursed in the period. According to figures sent to this newspaper from CBA, the loans approved were over Shs1 billion for the two months period. Additionally, savings are also said to have reached Shs2 billion over the same period.

However, Daily Monitor understands that the savings could be hitting the Shs3 billion mark soon. According to the Bank of Uganda annual supervision report for 2015, the total commercial bank loans in the year stood at Shs10.8 trillion or Shs900b per month.

Traditional banking is known for its bureaucracy in the various processes including account opening. It can take up to a month to process a loan in a commercial bank.

Additionally, borrowing small amounts of Shs5,000 to Shs0.5m is not possible in most cases. Speaking to Business Daily recently, the CBA Group managing director Isaac Awuondo, said MoKash is currently processing an average of 2,000 loans per day; with an average loan size of Shs18,000.

“Customers so far say that the product is very convenient. They like the fact that they can earn interest on their savings and access instant loans when they need to borrow,” said Awuondo.

The service, however, hasn’t been short of glitches. In the first few weeks, it would go offline, sometimes making it hard for borrowers to access the system.

Some customers have failed to access loans despite having saved, while one customer revealed that a loan approval request reflected that money had been transferred to their mobile money accounts but upon checking, the money had not been transferred.

However, MTN reveals that such cases are isolated and being addressed.

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