By FLEVIAN MUTIE

With the advent and the advancement of technology and e-commerce around the globe, the flexibility and ease of both digital and mobile payment systems have created a revolution that provides consumers with many ways for both buyers and sellers to access their money without much struggle. In the recent past, many people have been subjected to waiting for long before their turn to get services, but thanks to this technology, they can now do it at the comfort of their homes by tapping a button.  

For millions of Kenyan citizens, mobile phones serve as their banks while others as their mobile offices. Most citizens keep a good amount of their money and savings in their mobile money accounts, while others keep their work-related and personal or official or business files and other important documents in their mobile phones to ease access from anywhere anytime. 

However, this has proved not the best way of securing one’s money. The rise of mobile commerce and money transactions has given a loophole to fraudsters to launch their newly invented tricks, which have always enabled them to hack into unsuspecting people’s mobile money accounts and end up vanishing into the thin air with all their hard-earned cash. 

Some even masquerade as customer care agents and make calls to unsuspecting mobile money account users who end up relinquishing their personal details unknowingly and eventually lose all their data, money, mobile phones, sim cards, or all. Sammy Gitonga, a Nairobi resident, speaking to IEA News, says that unknown callers masquerading as customer care agents called him to “help” sort out a problem with the registration of his line, only to end up confusing him, and eventually stealing all his money from his mobile savings.  

“The next minute, when I checked my MPESA account balance, I was shocked to find it nil, it even had a Fuliza (an MPESA overdraft) of an amount of money I toiled for so long to settle….” he recalls. Taslim Karid says she is not Kenyan, but unknowingly fell for these cheap cons. Taslim recalls receiving a text message on a Sunday morning asking her to provide some details to “properly” register her sim card.  

“I ended up being confused by the caller, but as I had not made any request for a new card, and reckoning that a moment earlier, the person posing on the other end as a customer service agent had terminated a call. I then realized that it was a call from a fraudster, but unfortunately, it was too late, as I had already given out most of my details. My account, with tens of thousands, was swept clean, and loans requested via my line, which I haven’t been able to settle until now” she says.  

"It was a brief call that did not even last a minute. I did not give any of my details, but funny enough my sim was swapped minutes afterward." Joseph Wambui narrates to IEA Media, adding that he almost fell a victim right then, as his sim card lost memory after disconnecting a call from who he suspected was a fraudster. 

“I immediately contacted Safaricom, the mobile service provider, to report the issue as I raised brows that someone had attempted fraud on his number, but despite not giving out his details, his sim was still swapped but his money was still intact in his account as he had just deposited hours before the call.” 

Consequently, many Kenyan entrepreneurs and stakeholders in different business sectors are resolving not to use electronic and cashless systems like MPESA, as advised by Kenya’s Ministry of Health, as one of the safest methods of money-handling, amongst other measures recommended for use to contain the deadly COVID-19 virus.  

Safaricom recently joined hands with Kenya’s public transport stakeholders to facilitate a cashless payment system through M-PESA to curb the spread of Covid-19, an initiative that saw over 500 PSV vehicles give in to the mobile money service, thus helping them together with other measures put in place, to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Some stakeholders in the transport sector have said they are skeptical and a bit hesitant to use M-PESA to receive payments in form of fares since some passengers have proved to be untrustworthy. For instance, matatu operators in Nairobi have lodged complaints to the mobile service providers that some passengers have always reversed transactions in the form of the fares paid through electronic mobile money transfer systems during their journey.  

These passengers diligently pay their fares through the right channels provided, but upon alighting from the vehicle they immediately reverse the transaction, thus leading them to losses. Silvanus Odoyo, a tout who works at City Star Shuttle told IEA News that he recently lost over Sh4,000 in one week, which was a total of money reversed from his account.  

“I will no longer continue using MPESA services in my work because my boss has deducted a lot of money from my daily wage” laments Odoyo. “I resolved that I will not allow my passengers to do any cashless payments, especially of their fare with M-pesa, I have learnt the hard way after I lost all that money. The best way to do it, I have asked the boss to help us acquire a paybill number so that we do not frequently lose money again,” he says.  

This trend has also left the transport systems in Kenya almost paralyzed as the stakeholders now complain that Kenyans, especially passengers in Nairobi have a tendency of reversing transactions after they pay their fare. Kenya’s mobile money and telephone service providers have also reported a rampant increase in the number of instances and incidences of mobile money fraud, especially reversals, which are rampantly on the rise. Tyrus Kamau, an information security consultant says that there is now a great concern about the fast proliferation of technology in Kenya.  

To curb this, most matatus plying through the Nairobi metropolis, after a joint consultation, have come up with a Safaricom MPESA paybill system, where their passengers can book for matatu seat, pay and wait at the stage. “We have systems like NFC, which we are soon putting into place for matatus, taxis, businesses to use. All other entities with strong vulnerabilities can also use this system, beginning with banks and other merchants.” Says Kamau. 

Kenya is one of the growing states that has strived to adopt technology, including mobile money transfer. Kamau adds that this has helped the nation to ease the stress and struggle of getting to a bank or carrying cash, but on the other hand, this has widened the loop for cybercriminals, who have now turned their attention and are now routinely targeting payment systems and mobile money accounts belonging to unsuspecting owners. 

Responding to these claims and complaints, Sarah Muturi, a Safaricom dealer, to enlighten the public, told IEA News that before any disputed transaction is reversed, the service provider contacts the recipient to confirm the authenticity of the said transaction. “...if, and when called severally and still do not respond, the money is automatically reversed to the sender’s account.” She said. 

The Kenya government recently installed the Computer Abuse and Cyber Crimes Act, 2018, a clause which states that failure to reverse an erroneous mobile transaction may earn Kenyans a fine worth Sh200,000 or a two-year jail term, or both. Ironically, this has raised fear in many Kenyans who end up accepting the reversal of rightful transactions for fear of the above penalty and thus lose their money.

 

By PHOEBE RUGURU

They usually like to say that when you spare the rod, you spoil the child. If you experienced the full education spectrum in Kenya, without special privilege, there is little doubt that you experienced the rod at some point: because you were late to class; because you got 84% instead of 94% in Maths class; because you were the first in the class but not first in the whole school; because you forgot your textbook and had to share it with your desk-mate.

There seemed to be an endless pool of reasons as to why students were punished in school. And since being legally banned in 2001, though still being practised under the guide of “reasonable punishment”, corporal punishment is under review to be legalised and justified, an ambition headed by the Cabinet Secretary of Education, Professor. George Magoha.

The fact that corporal punishment can be proposed as a tool for advancing Kenya’s education sector is an embarrassingly backward proposition, ignorant, undermining the role of dialogue, and engraving colonial conditions in the minds of young children who need inspiration more than they need punishment.

One of the reasons why CS Magoha has called for the “return of the cane” is because, he claims, that students nowadays have “grown horns”, suggesting that the students of today are undisciplined and unruly. Perhaps his point of reference stems from the student strikes and protests that have been a prominent feature in many schools in Kenya.

However, to conclude that corporal punishment is a solution for lack of stability in some schools reveals another ambition to instil blind and manipulative conformity, an ambition that aims to hinder the ability and freedom for children to question, to challenge and to protest for their own rights.

Children growing to be controlled by the whip, might also be the ones growing up to inflict violence on their fellow citizens. It would be unsurprising, though under-researched, the correlation between corporal punishment and police brutality. It would also be unsurprising that the child who is corporally punished ends up being the one so afraid to stand up to injustice that they can graciously watch violence happen in front of their eyes and not even blink. Corporal punishment breeds a hardened conscience because the young minds are taught to conform, not to be conscious. 

In reviewing corporal punishment, what does it mean when parents also back corporal punishment at home? According to endcorporatepunishment.org, a study revealed that 78% of parents agreed that teachers should use corporal punishment to modify deviant behaviour in pre-primary school.

It therefore becomes even more important for there to be solutions to indiscipline that consider other alternatives such as dialogue, and psychological counselling. Confirming corporal punishment has proven to have terrible, and sometimes fatal, consequences for students.

Only recently, a 12-year-old girl died as a result of blunt force trauma impacted by her teacher after she was allegedly beaten on the head by her teacher when fetching water. Perhaps instead of focusing on ending indiscipline, it is far more important to scrutinise the issues that cause these challenges in the first place, for both the teachers and the students, as well as the parents. What happens if a student is abused at home by their parents, then goes to school where they may struggle in class and are then punished by the teacher, by the whole staffroom?

What if the school is the only place a student can be free from abuse and pain? Corporal punishment is the guarantee that children and students will not be understood in a sector that should prioritise their needs. Corporal punishment reinforces schools as being avenues of punishment, instead of inspiration and refuge.

Many parents with children in primary and boarding schools rarely have consistent and meaningful interactions with their children due to the little time children have to spend at home, or for leisure, following heaps of homework and holiday revisions. As such, many of them can be absent from observing their children’s behaviour and understanding what they lack, and as such, many perhaps surrender this responsibility to teachers.

It is this reason that KNUT (Kenya National Union of Teachers)’s Secretary General Wilson Sossion used to back his renouncing of both boarding schools and corporal punishment, calling for parents to play a more active role in reviewing how they discipline their children.

Corporal punishment as a tool of discipline and order in school is one that is colonial in itself; it is a term that can also be substituted for violence and trauma, a character with rhetoric echoing that of slaves and criminals. Impacting corporal punishment on children therefore seeks to reinforce colonial attitudes of authority and domination, those that suggest the inferiority of the child, strips their individual self-efficacy and shames them into submission.

There are no benefits to corporal punishment, not if they leave traumatic footprints in the minds of young people; not if years after school, these students can close their eyes and see a staffroom of teachers hoarding around them, each with a whip, or a thick stick or a thick hand; each waiting their turn.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan inspects a military parade following her swearing-in as the country’s first female president on March 19, 2021 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. AFP via Getty Images

 

Nicodemus Minde, United States International University

Samia Suluhu Hassan becomes the first female president in Tanzania taking over from President John Magufuli who died on 17 March 2021.

Born in 1960, she hails from Makunduchi, an old town on Unguja island, in Zanzibar. Her father was a teacher and her mother a housewife. After graduating from high school she studied public administration and later obtained a Masters in community economic development.

She began her political career in 2000 when she was elected as a special seat member in the Zanzibar House of Representatives. Special seats are reserved for Tanzanian women leaders under the country’s quota system.

She then served as the minister of gender and children in former Amani Karume’s government. Karume was the president of Zanzibar – an autonomous region of Tanzania – between 2000-2010. Hassan also served as the minister of youth employment, and of tourism in Karume’s cabinet.

Then in 2010, she was elected member of parliament for Makunduchi, sitting in the National Assembly of Tanzania, and was appointed minister of state for union affairs by President Jakaya Kikwete.

Samia Suluhu Hassan: A Profile.

She rose to the national limelight when she was elected to serve as vice chairperson of the Constituent Assembly. The assembly was a body of stakeholders brought together in 2014 by President Kikwete to discuss Tanzania’s proposed new constitution. It was led by Chairperson Samuel Sitta, a former Speaker of the National Assembly.

The Constituent Assembly, which was dominated by the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party was tasked to discuss and debate Tanzania’s draft constitution. Kikwete had initiated a constitutional review process in 2010 with the promise to have a new constitution through a popular process.

A new constitution has yet to be passed, with many in the establishment, including Hassan, preferring to maintain the status quo.

Becoming vice-president

The Chama Cha Mapinduzi presidential nomination of 2015 was a tight contest. After the party’s National Executive Committee votes were counted, three candidates were selected; John Magufuli and two other women – Asha-Rose Migiro, a Tanzanian who had served as the United Nations deputy secretary general, and Amina Salum Ali – a Zanzibari who had served as permanent representative of the African Union to the United States.

In the end, John Magufuli was nominated as a compromise candidate. He was viewed as candidate who could walk the middle line in a party that had been divided by competing interests.

Because there were two female finalists during the nomination process, it was deemed appropriate for Magufuli to nominate a woman as a running mate at a time when the country was already making great strides towards gender inclusion. Five years earlier, in 2010, Anna Makinda had broken barriers by becoming the first female speaker of the National Assembly.

Magufuli went ahead and nominated Samia Suluhu Hassan as his running mate. With Magufuli’s victory in the 2015 general elections, Hassan became the first female vice-president.

As vice-president, Hassan served as the principal assistant to the president. Her role should have been largely ceremonial. But when she assumed office, she represented Magufuli at many international meetings and engagements. These included the East African Community and Southern African Development Community summits.

This was because the late president rarely traveled abroad. As a result she has received immense international exposure, a factor that could influence how she governs going forward. An expected impact of this exposure will be to redress the international isolation Tanzania experienced during the Magufuli administration.

A reconciliatory figure

In November 2017, Hassan visited opposition leader Tundu Lissu in Nairobi Hospital. Lissu had just survived an assassination attempt.

She was the most senior government official who visited him, which is worth mentioning because Lissu had blamed the government for the attempt on his life.

Hassan conveyed Magufuli’s greetings. Her visit was symbolic because it sent a message of goodwill. It was an attempt to bridge the growing antagonism between the government and the opposition. Her candour and grace as she leaned in to speak to Lissu on his hospital bed reminded Tanzanians of the value of humanity and the true spirit of Tanzanian camaraderie.

She has been described as compassionate, rational and calm -– attributes that are a far departure from her previous boss.

Healing and unity

In the six years that Magufuli was president, the country became very polarized and divided.

His handling of the opposition and the COVID-19 pandemic only served to sow more discord among the Tanzanian people. And under Magufuli, Tanzania became increasingly isolated internationally.

Hassan’s international exposure could offer her the kind of worldview that is required to put Tanzania back on the diplomatic map. In her address after being sworn in as president on 19 March 2021, she spoke on the need to bury differences and show solidarity as a nation.

Hassan’s candour and rationality could be vital in moving the country forward. She should move in quickly to change the country’s stance on COVID-19 and reach out to the opposition and other stakeholders so as to build an inclusive national dialogue.The Conversation

Nicodemus Minde, PhD Fellow, United States International University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

By NANGAYI GUYSON

Kampala, Uganda -The Supreme Court in Uganda on Friday gave room Presidential aspirant Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine to withdraw his election petition seeking to overturn the victory of the incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

A panel of nine Supreme Court Justices led by the magistrate Alfonse Owiny-Dollo follows made a choice in an exceedingly concession from all parties to own the matter withdrawn.
In their brief ruling read by Justice Stella Arach Amoko, the Justices noted that upon careful consideration of the applying, the authorities attached to that and arguments from both parties and after reading the law, the leave to withdraw the petition has been granted.

The decision by Bobi Wine to withdraw the petition cements President Museveni’s January 14 victory allowing him to be sworn as President in May this year for an additional 5 year term.

His lawyers, led by Medard Lubega Sseggona had filed the appliance asking leave to withdraw the petition as a full.

Kyagulanyi pointed out six reasons for withdrawing the petition that are supported with arguments in an affidavit of twenty-two paragraphs. In keeping with Kyagulanyi, his witnesses are being abducted, tortured, harassed, and intimidated by state security operatives at the watch of President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and Attorney General, the primary and third respondents to the Presidential elections petition respectively.

He also argued that the organs of the state just like the Uganda personnel and National Identification of Registrations of Persons Authority -NIRA, were getting used by the respondents to research and infringe on his privacy and that of his witnesses.

The musician turned politician also alleged that the court had applied the principles governing the Presidential Election Petitions to his disadvantage.

He cited the court’s decision rejecting his application to amending his pleadings.
“The petitioner’s application for extension of your time for filing of additional affidavits was disallowed thus frustrating effective Prosecution of the petition,” reads the appliance.

On February 11th, 2021, a panel of nine Supreme Court Justices led by the magistrate Alfonse Owiny-Dollo granted Kyagulanyi permission to bring additional affidavits not later than that day 2021. But Kyagulanyi, who wanted to create 200 affidavits, did not meet the deadline citing unusual circumstances.

He said the weird circumstances included the actual fact that his lawyers were operating mobile law firms because of insecurity and fear that state operatives may steal the evidence just like the case was during the Amama Mbabazi Presidential Election Petition in 2016. He also argued that state operatives seized their organization offices under the command of Museveni and therefore the Attorney General’s agents, which made it difficult for him to file relevant affidavits and evidence in support of his petition on time.

“The Petitioner lost time during the illegal house detention. But this honorable court is more inclined towards the strict timelines, which has disadvantaged the Petitioner to the disadvantage of the respondents”, reads the appliance partly. In his affidavit supporting the appliance, Kyagulanyi’s says the choice to withdraw the Petition has been influenced by the foregoing factors and not by any corrupt bargain or consideration from the respondents or the other person.

According to Section 20 Subsection 3 of the Presidential Elections Act, “an application for leave to withdraw a petition shall be supported by an affidavit of the Petitioner and his or her advocate, if any stating to the most effective of their knowledge and belief that no agreement or terms or of any kind has or are made or undertaking made in reference to the petition or, if any lawful agreement has been made, stating the terms of the agreement.”


Kyagulanyi’s application is supported by his own affidavit. The identical laws also state that if the petition is withdrawn, the petitioner shall be vulnerable to pay costs to the respondent. The Supreme Court had earlier on scheduled the conferencing for Kyagulanyi’s main Presidential election petition today. It’s unclear whether or not the conference will proceed with the new development.  The rules governing the presidential election petitions allow the court to substitute a petitioner once he loses interest.

Bobi wine’s decision of withdrawing the case has not gone well with many Ugandans. One Saddened Ugandan who never wanted his name to be mentioned reacted like this;
“But let me ask… the questions are many…
If the evidence was really there and if it had been really overwhelming…
Why would gathering and presenting it be so difficult?
Why would that evidence depend upon one person’s movements from Magere?
Why would the web stop working interfere with the overwhelming evidence they claimed to possess gathered?
Why would those lawyers amend anything?
Even after being allowed to submit after the initial deadline?
Why would they then want to feature anything if the evidence had been there and it absolutely was overwhelming?
And then eventually withdraw?


If anybody visited court for any reason and that they had overwhelming evidence, would they really withdraw whether or not they felt unsure about the fairness of the court?
That is on a private level, now what if you were representing innumerable people, and a few even lost their lives or their loved ones on your behalf… would you simply withdraw, because you don’t trust the court, yet you had overwhelming evidence? How disappointing.
Unfortunately, it really seems the evidence was just not there or it had been underwhelming. Basically, the actions of sour losers.


Retired Supreme Court Judge Prof George Kanyeihamba has expressed disappointment with the way National Unity Platform’s Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine and his lawyers managed the election petition resulting in its stalling. According to Kanyeihamba, the lawyers representing Bobi Wine are accountable for causing a stall within the case.

“If the lawyers had not dismissed that the judges were biased and attached to Museveni, how would Bobi Wine know. It’s their incompetence and that they are guilty,” Kanyeihamba said.
Kanyeihamba revealed that he tried to advise the lawyers and Bobi Wine but he was soon shown slight.


“A few days ago, Bobi Wine and his assistant came to the current house and said Prof what can we do. I said I can give evidence of what I saw and might also give my expertise as a constitutional lawyer.
He agreed and said he would include his lawyers and that I check with them. He then promised to bring the petition in addition the subsequent day so we undergo it. They never came.”
Kanyeihamba said that the lawyers are answerable for Bobi Wine’s actions.
“I don't blame Bobi Wine, he's an innocent man. One in every of his lawyers here said Bobi Wine agrees with me on what we must always present forward. Why then did they reject Bobi Wine’s advice that i might prefer to help?” he said.


Stella Nyanzi, a Former Kampala Woman MP aspirant, Ugandan human rights activist, poet, medical anthropologist, feminist, queer rights activist, and scholar of sexuality, birth prevention, and public health and a well-known critic to President Museveni has also attacked the handling of the petition in a very manner which is unfair to several Ugandans.
He shared a photograph of his new bulletproof car, Like a hero with a brand new gift on Christmas. How many other Ugandans need bullet-proof cars. To shield us from stray bullets let out by brutes?”

Reads the stanza to a poem the spit-fire Dr Stella Nyanzi posted on her Facebook wall during the week.
Its sentiments were raw, raising questions on Bobi Wine’s showboating on the tide of his luck to own a bulletproof car in a very potential combat zone. Dr Nyanzi wasn’t through with her Bobi-baiting poetry, however. Her subsequent poem had the hit-or-miss charm of a kikomando breakfast.

For she then posted an erotic poem entitled “withdrawal,” which attempted to sexualise Bobi’s withdrawal of his election petition.

Museveni, Electoral Commission and therefore the Attorney General haven't objected to the withdrawal. However, the trio asked court to condemn Mr Kyagulanyi to costs basing on his behavior including allegedly uttering out falsehoods, attacking the judicial officers, discussing issues before court through the media; and threatening to require his petition through the general public court which they observed as a mockery to the independence of the Judiciary among others.

 

Justin Harding (left) poses with trophy alongside Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

South Africa's Justin Harding produced a flawless final round of five-under-par 66 at the Kenya Open on Sunday to seal a two-shot victory over Kurt Kitayama and his second European Tour title.

Overnight leader Harding, whose maiden tour win came two years ago at the Qatar Masters, maintained his composure amid a steady challenge from American Kitayama to finish on 21 under par at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi.

"It was hard work. I was happy with the way I played," the 35-year-old Harding, who had three birdies and an eagle on the ninth hole, said.

"I made a mess of 11 and 12 and ultimately the way I played 13 through 18 this week, it was a stressful time. I executed some shots and managed to make a couple of good par saves."

Kitayama made two eagles and two birdies as he threatened to catch Harding by reducing his lead to one shot, but a bogey on the 11th meant he fell short.

Scotland's Connor Syme finished with a 64 to secure third place ahead of Spaniard Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez. ESPN

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