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Featured Startups

YellowBird spices up ride-sharing with Car Pooling feature

YellowBird spices up ride-sharing with Car Pooling feature

As economies grow, and tech takes shape, service cost saving becomes easier to implement. Rising ride-sharing app, YellowBIRD, is revolutionizing the industry in Uganda with a new car pooling feature. This involves a driver picking up passengers that go the same way he goes, while getting compensated a partial amount for fuel cost.

How does it work?

People with spare seats in their car can use the app to advertise their journey and the cost per seat. The main intention for the drivers is not to make a profit but to have passengers that can be charged an amount to help cover their costs of the journey.

People looking for a ride can then use the YellowBIRD app to find drivers making the same journey and book and pay for the seat. Once the request to travel is accepted by the driver, they can chat within the app and pre-arranged the meeting spot before starting the journey.

Precisely, this is all it takes! The car owner doesn’t provide passengers with on-demand services. They will definitely go to the required destination in any case, regardless of whether he has fellow companions or not. All that the car owner does is to save on fuel and other travel costs but he or she doesn’t intent to earn money of it.

Since this service implies that passengers share a ride, they must participate in the sharing of a total ride cost. In most cases, the cost of fuel is shared between all companions. But also a driver can look for companions not for financial sharing, but for people who have a driving license. When there are 2 or more drivers in the car, it is possible to have a bit rest during the trip.

Is YellowBIRD car pooling a safe alternative in Uganda?

When it comes to ride sharing, safety has always been one of the main concern. People are naturally hesitant about sharing car space with a stranger. What YellowBIRD does is to have each member having pre-registered as a YellowBIRD user, and ensures that they also add a government approved Id to start using the car pooling service with the app.

After using the service, drivers and passengers can rate one another to further boost trust within the community and give future users more information about who they are travelling with.

The app also has a secure messaging service means drivers and passengers can chat before sharing a ride — to find out more about one another and to arrange practical details about the journey.

Benefits of Car pooling

The benefits are simple — drivers offset some of the cost of their journey while passengers gain transport that they might not otherwise have been able to afford.

Cost effectiveness — By having more people using one vehicle, carpooling reduces each person’s travel costs such as: fuel costs, tolls, and the stress of driving.

Environment safety — Carpooling is also a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way to travel as sharing journeys reduces air pollution, carbon emissions, traffic congestion on the roads, and the need for parking spaces. Authorities often encourage carpooling, especially during periods of high pollution or high fuel prices.

Car filling— Car sharing is a good way to use up the full seating capacity of a car, which would otherwise remain unused if it were just the driver using the car.

Challenges with Car pooling

Flexibility — Carpooling can struggle to be flexible enough to accommodate in route stops or changes to working times/patterns.

Reliability — If a carpooling network lacks a “critical mass” of participants, it may be difficult to find a match for certain trips. The parties may not necessarily follow through on the agreed-upon ride. YellowBIRD is addressing this concern by making sure the customer who is interested on a ride pays the reservation and is billed before the trip in case he does not turn up.

Riding with strangers — Concerns over security have been an obstacle to sharing a vehicle with strangers, though in reality the risk of crime is small. One remedy used by internet carpooling schemes is reputation systems that flag problematic users and allow responsible users to build up trust capital, such systems greatly increase the value of the website for the user community.

Women Safety — When it comes to cab or car pool services, women safety is still a major concern. On this matter, we make sure to display the gender of the user in case the passenger only want to travel with the same gender.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertYellowBird spices up ride-sharing with Car Pooling feature

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Featured Telecom

This is why the Africell new voice bundles are unbeatable

This is why the Africell new voice bundles are unbeatable

When you opt to get yourself a new Africell SIM card, which will cost you UGX 2,000, it comes pre-loaded with UGX 1,000 airtime valid of seven days as well as free minutes, SMS and data available upon your first recharge of the activated card.

It is with the new card that you get to enjoy Africell’s revised voice bundles that extensively offer a whole new set of affordable package. You can also enjoy the new voice combo bundles that get you on-net and off-net minutes, SMS, as well as data in the package.

All you have to do is dial *134# and get the package that suits you!

Let’s take a look at each and make a comparison with the competition.

Africell Unbeatables voice bundles

Africell daily voice bundles:

  • UGX 100 gets you 3 minutes to call Africell customers
  • UGX 250 gets you 10 minutes to call Africell customers
  • UGX 500 gets you 25 minutes to call Africell customers
  • UGX 1,000 gets you 75 minutes to call Africell customers
  • UGX 1,250 gets you unlimited call bundles and an extra 25 MB data

Africell weekly voice bundles:

  • UGX 5,000 gets you 350 minutes to call Africell customers
  • UGX 7,000 gets you unlimited call bundles and an extra 50 MB data

What does the competition offer?

There are a number of options that the competition offers but you will find it hard to refuse the Africell offer – probably the reason for the unbeatables name.

MTN Uganda already had a set of existing MyPakaPaka voice bundles where one can dial *160*1# to enjoy making calls and sending SMS messages to fellow MTN customers at a discount. Here, 60 minutes and 60 SMS cost UGX 1,100; 45 minutes and 45 SMS cost UGX 900; while 30 minutes and 30 SMS cost UGX 700.

Also, there are the normal daily bundles that customers find at *160*2#: including 6 minutes at UGX 500, 10 minutes at UGX 700, 20 minutes at UGX 1000, and 60 minutes at UGX 2000. These are the ones that the company is manipulating into all-network voice bundles.

Airtel, on the other hand, has a My Pakalast offering that lets you get on-net mintes, SMS and data customized based on your spending habits.

Africell new voice combo bundles

Africell daily voice combo bundles:

  • UGX 500 gets you 20 minutes to call Africell customers, 2 minutes to call other networks, 20 SMS, and 20 MB
  • UGX 750 gets you 30 minutes to call Africell customers, 3 minutes to call other networks, 30 SMS, and 50 MB
  • UGX 1,000 gets you 50 minutes to call Africell customers, 5 minutes to call other networks, 50 SMS, and 100 MB
  • UGX 2,000 gets you 150 minutes to call Africell customers, 15 minutes to call other networks, 150 SMS, and 300 MB

Africell weekly voice combo bundles:

  • UGX 5,000 gets you 200 minutes to call Africell customers, 20 minutes to call other networks, 200 SMS, and 200 MB
  • UGX 10,000 gets you 500 minutes to call Africell customers, 50 minutes to call other networks, 500 SMS, and 500 MB

What does the competition offer?

MTN Uganda has an equivalent offer called the Go Bundles. The daily offer goes for UGX 2,500 and gets you 25 minutes to call MTN customers, 5 minutes to call other networks, 30 SMS, and 30 MB. The weekly offer goes for UGX UGX 20,000 and gets you 200 minutes to call MTN customers, 50 minutes to call other networks, 250 SMS, and 250 MB.

Airtel Uganda has an equivalent offer called Kyabise Combo Bundles. The daily package includes three offers. UGX 2,500 gets you 75 minutes, 75 SMS and 75 MBs; UGX 1,500 gets you 20 minutes, 20 SMS and 20 MBs; while UGX 750 gets you 10 of each of minutes, SMS and MB. The weekly offer goes for UGX UGX 10,000 and gets you 300 minutes, 300 SMS, and 300 MB.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertThis is why the Africell new voice bundles are unbeatable

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Featured Tech

Uber introduces PIN code feature for riders to identify the right drivers

Uber introduces PIN code feature for riders to identify the right drivers

As part Uber’s strategy to beef up the safety of its riders, the company is offering users a four-digit PIN code to assist in ensuring that they board into the right car.

The ride-hailing company is rolling out the new feature across the U.S. and riders will be able to use the PIN codes to identify the right drivers to navigate them as well as to ensure that there is no impersonation of these drivers.

This follows the death of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson, who was murdered in March last year after getting into the car of a man that claimed to be an Uber driver.

Also Read About:

  • Uber expands to Ivory Coast
  • Why Uber increased uberX fares in Uganda
  • Uber launches its boat service in Nigeria

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Featured Telecom

Here’s how to keep your SIM card safe and secure in 2020

Here’s how to keep your SIM card safe and secure in 2020

About a year ago, there was talk about what could have been SIM card swap fraud going on in Uganda. This would be beefed by a statement that was circulating on social media, indicating that someone can hack your SIM card through a mere phone call.

The entire process involves fraudsters replacing the SIM for a mobile number that does not belong to them, allowing them illegitimate access to personal information and accounts of the original user.

The scammers use SIM swap frauds to cancel and re-activate new SIM cards to their names to target bank accounts or any other money transfer services. They can also access your call logs, text messages, online accounts, including email and all social media accounts.

The Uganda Communications Commission issued a statement, explaining how SIM card hacking occurs while also calming down the minds of citizens that for someone to hack into your SIM card they have to first access it.

How to keep your SIM card safe and secure in 2020

As the year begins, the commission has listed some measures to ensure that you have your card kept safe and secure.

  1. Establish how many SIM cards are registered using your National Identification Number (NIN) by pressing *197#, and after that demanding that any number(s) you are not associated with is blocked immediately.
  2. The Uganda Communications Commission also issued guidelines on the issuance, sale, swap and registration of SIM cards in Uganda, and a directive for operators to implement a verification mechanism using Short Code 197.
  3. Street vendors and agents are not allowed to swap SIM cards in case of loss or damage. Do not buy a card from them.
  4. It is important to note that SIM cards are ONLY issued upon the production of a valid original National Identity Card for Ugandan nationals. That means duplication only arises where a National ID holder is present, and part of the process as fingerprint biometrics MUST be matched.
  5. The telecoms are required to ensure that all particulars of the applicant, upon revalidation and issuance of SIM cards, match the information on the National Identity Card.
  6. Foreigners can ONLY be allowed to purchase a SIM card upon presentation of their original passport with a valid entry visa. For foreigners from the East African Community, where no visa is required, the applicant MUST provide information about the duration of their stay as indicated in the passport or travel document.
  7. Applicants who lost or misplaced their SIM cards must submit, together with their National ID or NIRA letter, an original Police document stating their case.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHere’s how to keep your SIM card safe and secure in 2020

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Featured Tech

How to save your WhatsApp chat history

How to save your WhatsApp chat history

Your WhatsApp chats are automatically backed up and saved daily to your phone’s memory. Depending on your settings, you can also periodically back up your WhatsApp chats to Google Drive. If you uninstall WhatsApp from your phone, but don’t want to lose any of your messages, be sure to manually back up your chats before uninstalling.

How to back up your chats

To back up your chats and messages, follow the procedure below:

  • Go to WhatsApp
  • Tap More options
  • Go to Settings, and then to Chats.
  • Select Chat backup and choose BACK UP.

How to export your WhatsApp chat history

If you want to export a copy the chat history from an individual or group chat, you can use the export chat feature. Key to note is that this feature isn’t supported in Germany.

To export your chat history:

  • Open the individual or group chat.
  • Tap More options
  • Tap More.
  • Tap Export chat, and choose whether to export with media or without media.

An email will be composed with your chat history attached as a .txt document. If you choose to attach media, the most recent media sent will be added as attachments.

When exporting with media, you can send up to 10,000 latest messages. Without media, you can send 40,000 messages. WhatsApp says these constraints are due to maximum email sizes.

Read About: How to your restore deleted WhatsApp chats

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHow to save your WhatsApp chat history

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Featured Telecom

Ruth Sebatindira: The big task ahead for the new UTL Administrator

Ruth Sebatindira: The big task ahead for the new UTL Administrator

Following months of uncertainty on the future of Uganda Telecom  (UTL), amidst wars between the telco’s administration and government officials, a new administrator has been named. Former Uganda Law Society President Ruth Sebatindira has been announced as the new UTL administrator, replacing Nelson Bemanya Twebaze – whose contract expired in November last year.

Mr Bemanya, a registrar general of Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), was appointed administrator of UTL following the exit of Ucom Limited, a Libyan firm that owned 69 per cent shares of the telecom. He entered into an Administration Deed and the shareholders ceded to him all their powers to run the company.

In an application in which the Uganda Contribution Employees’ Contributory Pension Scheme (UCECPS) were seeking to vary the deed of administration of UTL to replace him with another person, Justice Lydia Mugambe of the Civil Division of the High Court made the ruling that Ms Sebatindira should take charge.

The UTL creditors were accusing Mr Bemanya of failing to perform his roles in regard to collecting the outstanding amounts due to UTL from government departments.

He was also accused of failing to find an investor who can recapitalize and operate the company as well as paying in full all claims against UTL within the administration time.

The Big task ahead

Since March 2017, when UTL was placed under receivership, operations have not been in their right place. There have been several efforts by the Ugandan Government to revamp the telco.

A strategy that included sourcing for competent investors, an extension of UTL’s license for 20 more years, expansion of the telecom’s spectrum as well as giving it unlimited access to the National Backbone Infrastructure has not yielded any results.

Even the sourcing of an investor from bidders like Afrinet Communications, Mauritius Telecom, Hamilton Telecom, Telecel Global, Baylis Consortium and Teleology could not offer any solutions for the company’s sinking.

Read About: Teleology buys Uganda Telecom

In June 2019, Investment Minister Hon. Evelyn Anite informed members of Parliament that government no longer had any control of UTL Operations, with no more access to the company premises for any audits to be done.

The company administrators, led by outgoing Administrator Nelson Bemanya denied all the accusations posed by the minister insisting that neither refused government from accessing UTL premises nor that they denied the right to audit the company.

This would set a series of events that ran over 6 months in which Ms Anite, the Administrator, the Attorney General, among others exchanged letters on who has the higher authority on the telecom company.

Ms Anite wrote to the attorney general to apply to the court for orders replacing Bemanya as the administrator of UTL. Anite said that government had encountered considerable difficulty dealing with the administrator and completely lost confidence in his ability to continue serving the role of UTL administrator.

But the deputy attorney general Mwesigwa Rukutana disregarded the request saying that the government did not have supervisory powers over the administrator. He explained that the removal of an administrator from office required an application by the creditor.

He stated that the grounds to remove an administrator must relate to failure to comply with the duties imposed on the administrator under the Administration Deed, the Insolvency Act or any other law or any orders and directions of court.

At the time of its placement under receivership, UTL had reported heavy losses despite massive borrowings. These were listed to be UGX 16.21bn in 2008, UGX 11.86bn in 2009, UGX 69.26bn in 2010, UGX 145.63bn in 2011, UGX 27.67bn in 2012, UGX 59.91bn in 2013 and UGX 229.51bn in 2014.

Read About: Lycamobile – new telecom company in Uganda

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertRuth Sebatindira: The big task ahead for the new UTL Administrator

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Featured Tech

2020 Telegram update: New Theme Editor, Send When Online

2020 Telegram update: New Theme Editor, Send When Online

The internet and any interaction on it revolves around social media. With more than a billion social media users actively switching between the various apps through which they link up and exchange messages as well as share moments, these platforms offer constant updates to enhance experience and offer users more value.

As we start 2020, Telegram is the first messaging app to make an update available and there are quite a number of interesting features and revisions made on this one.

A new Theme Editor

Telegram has unveiled a new theme editor in Chat Settings through which you can change the style of elements in your Telegram chats and add beautiful effects to both your messages and your background.

The app has also added new predefined color schemes for its default themes. The new options can be accessed under Classic, Night, Day, etc.

Send When Online

The way you’d want to deliver some news or message just when the recipient is available, Telegram has added the option to schedule messages that are delivered as soon as the recipient comes online.

Note that this option is only available if you are allowed to see your recipient’s online status.

View Search Results as a List

Telegram’s Search function allows you to look through messages containing a keyword – or sent by a particular person, or even from a certain day. Now, with the update, if you tap the bottom bar you will be able to switch to a list view in case you want to see all the results on one page.

On iOS, you can also select several messages without leaving Search Mode.

What’s new On Telegram for Android?

Switch to Night Mode Faster: With the Night Mode Switch at the top of the menu. Tap the moon icon and you’ll activate the dark mode. .

Select Parts of Messages: Android now also lets you select a portion of the message text to copy or share, instead of only the full text. Sometimes you only want a slice, rather than the whole pie.

And Other Android Goodies

  • You can сhoose video quality in a more intuitive way when sending videos.
  • Sending contacts now uses a simple, card-style interface that won’t take up your whole screen (unless you pull up to expand it).
  • When you’re done listening to a voice message with your phone up to your ear, Telegram automatically records a reply – but now you can disable that by turning off Raise to Speak in your Chat Settings.

What’s new on iOS?

Text Size, All the Way: You’ve been able to adjust the size of message text on Telegram from the beginning, but now you can scale the font size throughout the app. I’m not sure if Grandma reads this blog regularly, so you may have to tell her yourself.

Choose Your Browser: External browsers are now supported for opening links – you can select your preferred app in Settings > Data and Storage > Other.

Share Sheet Settings: Your most popular Telegram chats were recently added to the iOS Share Sheet. In case you‘d like to control what can (or can’t ) appear there, you can use the new toggles under Settings > Data and Storage > Other > Share Sheet.

Switch Accounts Faster: Superman has had a hard time finding phone booths lately, so we added a way to swiftly switch accounts right from your home screen on iOS 13. Simply hold down on the app icon any time you need to change costumes.

Storage Usage At a Glance: The Storage Usage page has been redesigned to more quickly find the settings you‘re looking for. It also shows your device’s storage status, and how much space all those other pesky apps are using compared to Telegram. Bigger, after all, is not always better.

You did know that with Telegram there’s no need to store every silly meme people ever sent you on your precious device, right?

Cache-Clearing Shortcuts: Selecting multiple messages in a group or channel gives you the option to clear the chat’s cache. Like we said, no need to store what you don’t need – but also no need to delete actual messages. Just keep things in the cloud, like the cool kids.

Check out Settings > Data and Storage > Storage Usage for more options.

Member Lists: The Shorter Scrolls

In case you’re looking to leave some large groups and start fresh in the new decade, long member lists will collapse, so you can get to the ‘Leave Group’ button without scrolling.

By the way, swiping on a group or channel from the chat list and selecting ‘Delete’ is still the shortest way out, but now there is more than one way to leave the New Year’s party early.

Find out more here.

Read About: How to enable 2FA on Twitter without using your mobile number

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas Albert2020 Telegram update: New Theme Editor, Send When Online

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Digital Featured

How Mariah Carey’s Twitter account was hacked

How Mariah Carey’s Twitter account was hacked

Talk of social media account security in 2020! On New Year’s Eve, Mariah Carey’s Twitter account was hacked.

Various reports indicated that the hack began in the afternoon of Pacific Time, and more than 50 tweets were posted containing vulgarities and the use of the N-word. There were also posts about rapper Eminem. The last tweet appeared to show a photo of a shirtless teenager.

The hacker also exhorted Carey’s followers to follow specific handles to get follows back after they were “done.”

The news outlet reported that some of the boorish tweets posted to Carey’s compromised account referred to the Chuckling Squad, a hacker group that was responsible for the August hacking of the account of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

The inappropriate tweets posted to Dorsey’s account — posted and deleted within minutes — included the use of the N-word, other loutish comments and one message claiming there was a bomb at Twitter’s headquarters.

At that time, Twitter confirmed the hack and regained control of the account within 30 minutes, saying that it had found “no indication” that Twitter’s systems were compromised. A company spokeswoman would also later say that Twitter had “looked into” the bomb threats and could confirm that they were “not credible”.

Eventually, the company attributed fault for the hack to Dorsey’s mobile phone company.

“The phone number associated with the account was compromised due to a security oversight by the mobile provider. This allowed an unauthorized person to compose and send tweets via text message from the phone number. That issue is now resolved.”

Since the hack, all tweets have been erased from Carey’s account.

Read About: How to know your WhatsApp has been hacked.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertHow Mariah Carey’s Twitter account was hacked

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Featured Startups

Chipper Cash plans Southern Africa expansion after $6M seed round

Chipper Cash plans Southern Africa expansion after $6M seed round

Cross-border remittance and P2P payments platform, Chipper Cash, has raised $6 million in seed funding led by Deciens Capital. Raptor Group also participated in the round.

According to TechCrunch, the firm – which operates in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Nigeria – plans to expand into Southern Africa in its bid to become a pan-African entity.

Chipper is going continental. We are adding more African countries in 2019 and hope to cover the continent in some few years. This way, we will be contributing to connecting our African nations in terms of trade and financial transactions/ financial harmonization.

Chipper Cash was founded by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled. The company offers free P2P mobile money services, which is unlike other existing mobile money providers. The platform also aggregates several mobile money wallets and bank accounts onto its platform allowing customers to enjoy its super wallet status.

In May 2019, the startup collected a $2.4 million (about Shs9 billion) in a seed round still led by Deciens Capital. The investment also attracted Joe Montana, a legendary American footballer’s firm called Liquid 2 Ventures and 500 Startups, to be part of the round.

In June 2019, Catalyst Fund, which invests in early-stage ventures working in the financial inclusion sector in emerging markets as well invested $50,000 in Chipper Cash.

This guided the expansion into Nigeria with its free and instant Peer-to-peer cross-border mobile payment solutions.

With over 600,000 active users and over 3 million transactions processed on its platform, Chipper Cash aims to be Africa’s biggest payments platform with its merchant focused platform Chipper CheckOut and its P2P service Chipper Cash.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertChipper Cash plans Southern Africa expansion after $6M seed round

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Featured Tech

This is why you should not write on currency notes

This is why you should not write on currency notes

In a strong wave of political activism and economic imbalance, there have been numerous attempts by individuals to put writings on various monetary notes and other currencies. Various social media posts have indicated marks and writings imparted on money to state their political ambitions and aspirations.

Bank of Uganda has come out to warn the public against this act and has advised the pubic not to accept any bank notes with marks and writings other than the official ones, as these have less value.

This is the statement from Bank of Uganda:

Bank of Uganda (BoU) is by law the only authority that can issue currency in Uganda and that includes the power to determine the features that can appear on any currency note or coin.

The Bank has noted with concern the several social media postings circulating images of Uganda’s currency notes with hand written political campaign messages. This is to advise members of the public that stamping, writing, and /or markings on currency notes interferes with the security features that are useful in establishing the authenticity of the genuine currency notes. Stamping, writing/or marking on bank notes or coins also amounts to defacing which exposes the holder of such a note or coin to the risk of loss of its value.

The public is, therefore, strongly warned against the use of currency notes for any other purpose other than for making or receiving payments and the public is also advised to accept only those notes that bear features as designed by Bank of Uganda.

Individuals involved in the defacing, and/or those accepting defaced notes risk losing the value of their Banknotes.

Bank of Uganda assures the general public that it is committed to the preservation of the integrity and value of the currency of the Republic of Uganda.

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Author: Kikonyogo Douglas AlbertThis is why you should not write on currency notes