Sunday, August 10, 2008
The nuisance of SMS adverts...Invasion of privacy

Day to day, my phone vibrates so hard only to check is an advert SMS from an agent or company.

It reads, JVC Radio winner: 0782 XXX XXX and 0752 XXX XXX. SMS SHAGGY to 09X XXX XXX. NOW to enter draw! More prices: JVC radios & Ticket.” The sender was SHAGGY.

As I put my phone back to my pocket another SMS drops into the inbox. Checking again it is an advert.

“WEFUNIRE OMUKISA! Tiketi 50 zakuwangulwa buli week okulaba omuyimbi naninku SWEET KID nga 7 September ku Didi’s world. Wandika KID usindike ku 8008.” The sender was SWEET KID

These adverts SMS’ range from music launches to beer rebrands and lottery. To a surprise the senders’ numbers are customised for instance SHAGGY and SWEET KID. MTN so far is conniving in vending subscribers phone lines to advertisers because its SMS centre number is in play, +256 77 110002.

All these are happening in Africa just because there are no consumer protection laws, or, in simple terms, invasion of privacy is no issue to telephone corporate and Uganda Communication Commission.

I don’t mind the tapings of calls and SMS scrutiny, or, surveillances by intelligence organs. I just wonder if they withstand my deep romantic talk with my girlfriend. They highly hope my love exchanges twist into terror information to value their taping. By the way, do they tape conversations of almost 3 million subscribers or it is for suspicious persons?

So MTN should know that, if I need any information be it gossip, forex and entertainment, movies, television schedules, radio stations, inspiration... I will pay for it, but not to forcefully send information to my phone.

The only exception will be information valid for all subscribers for instance change of services or tariffs.

posted by ombui at 3:12 AM | Permalink | 3 comments
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Uganda parties sign a coalition protocol
Uganda opposition parties have signed a historical protocol as a yard stick to win the coming elections.

The signing party leaders include Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Conservative Party (CP) and Justice Forum (JEEMA). The Democratic Party (DP) was absent in the signing because of party consultations, however one of its member of parliament Mutumba Sebuliba of Kawempe South was present.

The current party co-operation chairperson, Maria Obote of UPC says the unity is a power house to win the coming general elections in 2011. She expects that will correct what she refers to as political inconsistency and intolerance.

Co-operating parties will work under an umbrella of Uganda Inter-Party Co-operation (UIPC) but will not lose their identities. The chairmanship will be in rotation after every three months.

So far, the coalition hasn’t agreed on common electoral platform which they believe can be done through agreement. FDC leader, Retired Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye says, “We will support anyone the co-operation yields.”

Inter-party co-operations are not new in Uganda. Shortly before independence parties came together to assume power from the British colonialists; DP and UPC coalition in 1980 election did not last after an uprise; In the 1996 election parties united under the Inter-Party Forces Co-operation (IPFC) but did not trounce Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who had 76% of votes; and 2001 election DP, CP and FDC came together but still lost. The 2006 election had no coalition and Museveni won with 59%.

Though the arms of this parties’ co-operation are wide, some smaller parties like Reform Agenda, The Free Movement, FeParty, National Democratic Forum and many others will not qualify to join for they haven’t taken part in any general elections, by election or local government election and have no functional secretariat.

The signing that took place at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala was concluded with participants testing how flexible their bones were by dancing to a South African song which they didn’t comprehend but said it was a liberation song.

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posted by ombui at 6:48 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
My first BHH
My desire to attend BHH had been shuttered twice. The first time was 17th July because I wasn’t sure. The second time was 24th July when CB confirmed 31st July to be correct.

A Thursday evening, CB, DMG, T and I strode through the ever open gates of Makerere University and connected two taxis to Efendy Restaurant on Jinja road, Kampala.

We located where the bloggers were. They got excited to see CB, but scared to see three others with bags. Brief introduction didn’t help at all, bloggers glued mostly to persons they knew even after we shifted to another table.

DMG stuck with T; Dn stuck with Ruth; The dying communist got two ladies; DA was a ‘freelancer’ to stir the idle ones; and I was with CB.

Chit chats went on and on while others turned the restaurant into a photo studio or scenery park. Camera flashes and phone camera clicks rhythmically blended with the oldies music kicks and mixes.

Shortly after 9pm, I expected an organised discussion to kick off but small talks minimised just because bloggers were bidding bye to each other.

DA came over and I vomited my experience and expectations from BHH. We later engaged ourselves on what makes a good blogger more so in sparking change or development in the community.

Time to go clocked yet DMG and CB hadn’t got their change. We bounced to the counter after repeated neglect from a waiter. Before the cashier they demanded for their change pulling an audience of waiters, the manager and even cooks.

I moved close to the entrance not be the Kanyama, but to be off workers at Efendy that were failing get simple addition mathematics and accept their mistakes.
They later accepted to hand-in the change when DMG and CB proved to have understood the simple primary 4 maths and CB hinted of his paparazzism.

In the next BBH, I guess DMG and CB will carry coins for eased purchases. A collective discussion too will be held.

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posted by ombui at 6:27 AM | Permalink | 0 comments