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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

RIC-NET Staff Participates in Tanzania's Nation Election Monitoring in Tanzania

Minutes after delegates arrived at Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam

Two staff from RIC-NET were among a delegation of 13 people from Uganda who traveled to Tanzania on the 25th October 2010 to participate in the election monitoring process, to ensure a free and fair Election. The delegation took off from Entebbe international Airport at Mid-day to Mwanza by the Precision Air Airplane, then after some continued to Mwanza, others to Arusha then a final group to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. It was a safe journey all through though some members were
tired before the end of the day.

Seven presidential candidates will take part in the 31 October general elections in Tanzania, with incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete being the clear favourite. But the opposition may make important gains. Education, health and employment are some of the main issues dominating the election campaign as Tanzanians prepare for the 31 October election. President Kikwete and the CCM are expected to be rewarded by voters for the positive economic development in Tanzania during his first period.


The delegates are going to keep in Tanzania for 10 days until the end of the elections.

Article by

Bwambale Edwin

Reporting from Dar es Salaam

Friday, October 22, 2010

1.3 Billion Ugandan shillings from HIVOs and OXFAM NOVIB to boost RWECO electoral monitoring process. By Timothy & Godfrey

HIVOs and Oxfam NOVIB has committed 1.3 billion Ugandan shillings to boost the electoral monitoring process in the Rwenzori region, west Nile, Soroti, and Gulu. This was revealed by Mr. James Mwirima the coordinator of the project while closing two day training for election observers. Mr. James Mwirima said that he was delighted to have received funding to the tune of 1.3 Billion Uganda Shillings from the two development partners HIVOS and OXFAM NOVIB to facilitate monitoring of the electoral process in Uganda. The coordinator was very grateful to the timely contribution from the development partners and promised to put the money to good use.

In his brief communication Mr. James Mwirima re-emphasized the need for the neutrality of observers while monitoring elections. He warned them not to conflict with the law. He argued the observers to provide daily updates about elections to their respective focal persons or directly to the website which has been created by RIC-NET to enhance the information sharing about electoral process. To this, Rwenzori Information Centers Network (RICNET) will provide serialized phone numbers to all observers to facilitate the communication process. It was further revealed that RWECO secretariat was going to be revamped with two more staffs to help in the running affairs of the secretariat.

On its part, RWECO is handling the issue of accreditations of its observers with the electoral commission.

As part of the campaign to access electoral process information, regional data centers will be established in Fort portal for the western region, Gulu for the Northern region and Mbale for the Eastern region to relay regular update on elections.

The observers will be expected to attend rallies as part of the campaign to popularize the citizens Manifesto. To this they are required not only to attend all campaign rallies but even meetings at sub county level and facilitate debates between the aspiring candidates.

The coordinator ended with a strong warning to the observers to avoid reporting unverified claims for this will be of an embarrassment to the organisation. The observers, who were working with the electoral commission in any capacity, campaign agents, political assistants were told to resign immediately for they will not be tolerated as observers. With much emphasis on neutrality of election observers, Mr. James warned observers against wearing party colours, corruption and bribery noting that these compromise the integrity of the organisation

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Informative training for election observers to monitor the pre and post election events in the Rwenzori region comes to an end. By Godfrey and Timothy


The two day workshop on electoral monitoring process for the Rwenzori region comes to an end. The workshop started on Wednesday 20th October 2010 at 9.30 am. Participants were drawn from RWECO partners Rwenzori Information Centers Network (RIC-NET) Karambi Action for Life Improvement (KALI), Rwenzori Anti- Corruption coalition (RAC), Good hope Foundation, Integrated women in development programme (IWDP), Kabarole research and resource Center (KRC), organizations operating in the seven districts of the region. The consortium is aimed at ensuring that there is free and fair elections in the Rwenzori region

A 2-day workshop on election monitoring process was organized By RWECO as a learning event for election observers for the forth coming general election in Uganda

From the workshop the emerging issues were focusing on the benefits of a democratic, free and fair election, the neutrality of the election commission and how the citizen’s participation will be guided. Below are the key issues that emerged from the discussions

1. It was a general belief that the democratic exercise/practice though expensive in the short run it is profitable in the long run

  1. That democratic culture is infectious
  2. That democratic fruits have to be tested by all citizens and that everybody has a right to participate in the process
  3. That democratic system can only be as good the players(stakeholders) call for a thorough analysis of all key stakeholders and their contribution to the fairness of the electoral process
  4. That electoral commission official often temper with results at the tallying stage an issue vehemently rejected by district registrars present. That the mismatch with the tallied results with those generated by candidates from their agents has always been a source electoral conflicts and violence.
  5. The circumstances under which polling stations are gazette including issues of polling stations for soldiers on operation in areas were questioned by the participants. Wandering why there is always unnecessary deployment of soldiers in some areas who in turn vote.
  6. The participants needed to know the contribution of the electoral commission to the enactment of electoral laws
  7. Voter education was yet another serious emerging issue from the plenary. Participants asked for explanations as to why voter education is always delayed and rushed towards election. The this the response was delay in release of funds from the ministry of finance
  8. Participants were not satisfied with the way the accreditation process has been handled. The rising issue was when the accreditation cards for observers will be released given the fact that the process is already behind time.
  9. The other worry was that the electoral commission demand for identification tags for observers could be a ploy to block civil society organisations from observing the elections. To this, participants wanted clarification as to when cards will be ready and whether they will be ready in time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The civil society organizations in western Uganda and in particular those operating in Kasese district have started using technology to achieve change and development in the area. RICNET with funding from IICD organized a workshop to familiarize the civil societies in Kasese district with the new portal that was tailored for their use. The portal is a version of the social site facebook only that this one zeroes down to Kasese district.

Gael Harnandez of IICD how was the lead trainer at the workshop applied the practicality of the portal by going through every step in detail. Just like any other social site, one can receive messages, send messages communicate with other users and chat instantly. the portal also comes with an added component, as a user you have your own page where you can publish your articles, pictures and videos for the others to see.

John M. Silco, the program manager at RICNET stressed on the point that the portal was for the people of Kasese and that it is them to maximize its use if they want to realize change in the region.He warned users of the platform against using the portal to display pictures that are unnecessary and do not contribute to the development of the area. he also stressed the point that the E- society center offers free services and on issues of extending the working hours of the center, he expressed the possibility but said a few more consultations had to be made.

By the end of the workshop, all 37 participants were registered as members of the portal and workable strategies were put in place to ensure the portal becomes success.

Monday, October 11, 2010


For a very long time, farmers in the Rwenzori region have been affected by plant pests and diseases, coupled with their limited know how on how to identify the diseases and get medication for the plants, a greater threat is posed to food security in the region and Uganda as a whole since the Rwenzori region is the basket of Cassava, beans and an assortment of fruits in Uganda. To curb the plant pests and diseases, RICNET and SATNET, two non governmental organisations operating in the Rwenzori region with support from Global plant clinic have launched a series of plant clinics in the two districts bordering the Congo- Kasese and Bundibugyo.
The week long exercise saw five plant clinics launched two in Bundibugyo and three in Kasese. The two districts were chosen because they are the closest to the DRC where most plant diseases in the western region of Uganda come from.
The launch saw all five plan clinics furnished with basic equipment that would enable the smooth operation of the services. Each clinic received a Table, five chairs, one lab coat for the plant doctor to use while diagnosing the plants, hand lenses, a banner with the name of the clinic and the day I which it operates. The plant nurses were also provided with branded T-shirts so that the community would easily identify them. Each clinic also received a digital camera and resource material that the doctor and farmers would use for reference.

At the launch of the clinic in Kisinga Sub County, the county chief gave the program a good reception and pledged his support and that of the government to ensure the success of the project. He also expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the RICNET and SATNET for implementing the plant clinic program in his county. On his part, the Agricultural officer of Kisinga sounded a stern warning to the plant doctor of the area, he advised him to take good care of the equipment provided and never use it for personal purposes.
Mr. Erastus Ang’ienda the RICNET representative at the function advised the farmers to maximize the use of the plant clinics and better their food production, a sentiment which was also shared by Mr. Thaddeo Kahigwa, the SATNET representative who thanked the government for their support and pledged more support to the clinics in the future, he also asked the plant doctors to send pictures of plants with diseases they cant identify in the field for quick identification so that the remaining plants in the field can be saved.

With the kind of reception and support the plant clinic concept received during the launching ceremonies in the 5 centers, the fight against plant diseases has moved a notch higher and everyone’s prayer now is that at the end of it all, our plants are disease free because HEALTHY PLANTS… HEALTHY PEOPLE.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Electronic Library Training Impresses Kasese District Officials

The E-Society completed a three days training that was attended by the members from Kasese District Local Government and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Kasese district. The Training registered a daily attendance of 35 people per day.

The main objective of the training was to enhance knowledge on how to use the newly developed Kasese District Electronic library that will boost Information sharing between the Local Government, CSOs and the Citizens in Kasese District and world wide.

The training was facilitated by Software developers from SOLTEC, the Company that was contracted to develop the system and with financial funds from IICD.

The training was regarded successful because all the objectives we accomplished.

Reported by

Bwambale Edwin
ICT Technical Advisor, E-Society Kasese

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


THE new iPhone-4G is the latest phone on the Ugandan market. It is easily distinguishable from others and exactly the type of phone for men and women with swag. With this phone, you can see tell the location of the person you are communicating with.

This piece has unbelievably sharp and crisp texts and graphics. It even helps you record and edit stunning videos in High Definition (HD), even in low light settings.

This is enabled by its advanced backside illumination sensor and in-built LED light. Its 5-megapixel camera with in-built LED flash will enable you take beautiful and detailed pictures.

The new front-facing camera makes it easy to take self-portraits. It has an in-built noise suppression system which makes phone calls easy to hear even in a noisy environment.

It has an amazing iPod, the kind that lets you listen to music, watch videos and browse everything with just the touch of your finger.
These phones cost between sh2m and sh2.4m

Compiled By;
Mugasa Evelyn