Recap on M-Rushwa session at Kinu Hub prepared by Hon. Januari Makamba ….

Sunday, November 4, 2012

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Hon. Januari Makamba
As usual it was another cool brainstorming session at the Kinu Hub where people get to share their ideas and opinions on different matters that can impact the community through the use of technology. So many tech enthusiasts, IT Professionals, Media and decision makers attended the session. The main reason people gathered together was to discuss the open governance project which started as an idea from the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology and the MP for Bumbuli constituency Hon. Januari Makamba.  
The name of the project is M-Rushwa, M-Rushwa like other mobile projects in Africa which are used to impact the local communities is the platform where by it gives chances to the people who want to report the crime in real time to have the ease of access mechanism of reporting the crime to the authority as it happen. The platform has been integrated with a site and Mobile based USSD application in which both of them produce the flexibility for an individual to report the crime and at the same time to analyze through statistical map the rate of occurrence of corruption activities in the given area. 
According to the statistics provided it shows less than 10 percent of corruption cases are being reported to the authorities while the remaining percentage remained unreported to the local authority the main reasons being two first, people want to report the crime but they lack means of reporting the crimes in real time and secondly other issues like awareness and people being afraid of the authorities. 
Preparation for the event.
When Mr. Januari Makamba was asked about the credibility of the system and the security (privacy of the user). Using his developers opinions he explained that the system is credible and they are at the early stages of creating the system and promises with time they will have better and secure system but still he encouraged people (Tanzanians) to use the system has an act of patriotism and commitment to our country and helping our government to fight against the corrupt systems of officials. 
The platform seems to tackle one of the major problems, the lack of immediate way of reporting the crimes without going through a lot of inconveniences. 

 The session was great everyone got the chance to contribute and even the engineers behind the project were surprised by the activeness of the audience. I got the chance to talk to Hussein one of the M-Rushwa developers from United Kingdom and he was like “it’s amazing how people asked questions really it was a great challenge to us and we have learnt a lot of things from this session that we should take care before we release the system” Hussein. 
People go the opportunity to tryout the platform through the code *149*17#, although there were some redundancies since the system is still on pilot stage but some of the people within the audience they manage to access the system through their Airtel and Vodacom registered numbers on their mobile phones although there were a lot of time outs for Vodacom mobile phones subscribers a technical problem in which according to the platform developers it is a technical problem which can be fixed as soon as they meet with the Vodacom technical team. On the other hand the platform will be available to other mobile phones service vendors the likes of Zantel and Tigo in the near future after they finish official agreements with the companies.
There was some question if the platform and the system will work hand on hand with the current government department which deals with corruption and abuse of power (PCCB). The answer from Mr. Januari Makamba was they are looking forward to meet with PCCB to talk about the issue since first the project was just aiming to work only on his constituency, Bumbuli. PCCB have their speed dial code of 113 to report crimes that are related to corruption and abuse of power although he insisted he will not allow the system to be tempered with individual and he is looking forward to create an efficiency and credible system of reporting corruption activities in Tanzania
There was an issue of awareness among the mobile users about the system and to make it popular among the mobile phone users simply meaning that to make the project work practically to the local community. He said, after the official launching of the platform and the projects go live there will be a lot of campaigns and awareness programs to make people familiar of the project and encourage them to use the system.
 

January Makamba
@JMakamba
Deputy Minister of Communication, Science & Technology. Politics & Foreign Relations Secretary of the ruling party CCM. MP for Bumbuli Constituency: Tanzania · http://januarymakamba.com


Yet again, thanks to KINU the organizers of the space and the event it was a marvelous session a really tech environment were by people could interact with the session directly from anywhere in the world we add Jones one of the co-founder of KINU asking questions from Nairobi and a lot of twits coming in throughout the session without forgetting the Samosas and other cool bites, it was an interesting session.
For More details on M- Rushwa the details can be found from this link or Follow Mr. Januari Makamba on twitter @JMakamba without forgetting to always be in touch with the Tanzanian leading online tech magazine tech360magazine.com on twitter @GTech360. To access the site www.mrushwa.com you will have to use the password: mrushwa149 and yes the number of mobile phone users in Tanzania is expected to hit 36m by 2015. 
Jumanne Mtambalike
TECH360 Correspondent

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