Top Ten Free SMS Websites to Uganda Mobile Phones

Hi folks, just like olden days, you would want to save up on the airtime that has recently become so precious. You wouldn't want to waste, say 2 hund'nd on an sms message, which amount could be several calls in the night if you hooked on mtn zone. Now, that we truly east african, you also need to send frequent sms to friends in KE (Kenya), TZ (Tanzania), RWA (Rwanda) & BU (Burundi) ;)

In no particular order, please find the popular free SMS sites:

1. Imaginative - These are most popular guys, 7197, being the sms code in Uganda for all news regarding Primeir league, politics, food, forex. Their site is great and you do not need to register to send your message. SMS from this site gets to the recepient much of the time. No registration to send sms required.

2. K-Open Solutions - We pray hope they remain open to providing free sms forever. They got a chat client like the one on this site where you can chat with your friend. Both of you just load the same website on your computers and start chatting. No need to have either yahoo messenger installed on your computer to chat with your friend. No registration to send sms required.

3. Socnet Solutions - Formerly a website where you did not have to register to send SMS, now Socnet, is not free anymore. Registration is by filling in your phone number and a password gets sent to you via sms. The problem is having to fill it in for every sms that you sent out. Registration to send sms required.

4. Campus Linker - these guys have a nice website. They vending services ranging from ringtons, to wallpapers. They are Kampala's new breed of computer students creating their business online. I like their website and the idea is great. No registration to send sms required.

5. SMS Media - The SMS window is so squeezed, on your right side of the screen above the ringtons and if you not too careful, you could easily miss it. Feed in the number of the recepient and enter your sms. No registration required.

6. - Most popularly known free sms site to Makerere university students. You do need to have an account. A free account is available and all your contacts phone numbers are kept in your account and will always be available whenever you log in. Send sms to every mobile phone company in Uganda: MTN, UTL, Warid and Zain. Registration required to send sms.

7. Surf Uganda - for job seekers but with a free sms window on the right side of your screen, a little below. Send free sms to MTN and UTL mobiles. No registration required to send sms.

8. eacraze sms - These guys send sms to most of the MTN family mobiles. From the 0773, 0782, 0772, to UTL mobiles. Sms to pals out in either KE or TZ is also possible. Just feed the the numbers at their respective country codes. For Ke (+254) and TZ (+255). No registration required to send sms.

9. MTN Uganda Website - You need to be an MTN subscriber to send free sms from their website. Enter your phone number to receive your password. Registration required to send free sms to only MTN subscribers.

10. Web2SMS Zain - You need to have a Zain subscriber number to setup an account to receive a password. Once finished with setting up an account, login on your left where it says "existing users" to send free SMS to Zain Subscribers only. Registration required to send free sms.

***UPDATE: Send FREE SMS to MTN, AIRTEL, Orange, Warid phones on the RuralICT website,, Enter your phone number in the format: 07.. It is now the only website where you can send free SMS without registration. Enjoy while it lasts :-)

Most senior Ugandan officer in US Army - Frank Bisase

This interview which appeared in Sunday Monitor, 10th Aug 2008, of the highest ranking Ugandan in the United States army, an OB of St. Henry's College Kitovu - Masaka. I hope it inspires the young ones back at the College and the alumni as well. The interview was conducted by Solomon Muyita of the Monitor publications.

Lieutenant Commander Frank Bisase, who is probably the most senior Ugandan officer in the United States military, was in the country last month, his second visit since he joined the forces in 1985. He spoke to Monitor’s SOLOMON MUYITA about his intentions to retire and return to build his motherland.

Who is Frank Bisase?

I was born to Ephraim and Florence Bisase on December 31, 1951. I went to Nakivubo Settlement School and St. Henry’s Academic College Kitovu - Masaka, after which I graduated from Makerere University. I was very politically active as a young man and would write political news articles and speak at rallies – I do not think Amin’s men liked it, because they attacked me a couple of times. My father decided that it was better for me to leave, like most others who had fled the country. I went to Gambia, where I taught art for three years before going to the New York Graduate School, where I got a masters degree in Fine Art. I worked as a teacher there for a while, then decided to join the armed forces of the United States in April 1985.

<= Lieutenant Commander Bisase with his mother on his most recent visit to Uganda.

Which political group did you belong to?
I wasn’t really into groups, but I have a very strong political background in terms of family. My uncle, Dr E.S. Lumu, was Uganda’s first Minister of Health, and he played a major role in the independence of this country. He belonged to Kabaka Yeka and joined the UPC when he became a minister. He is one of the five ministers who were arrested by President Obote.

How did you end up in the US Forces?

You can join the US Forces in different ways, as long as you are a legally permanent resident of the US – you do not have to be a citizen. Initially I was part of an organization of Ugandan political activists in New York City that used to mobilize and send supplies to support President Museveni and the (NRA) liberators back then in the bush. We would meet at my small apartment with friends like Perez Kamunanwire, who is now Uganda’s Ambassador to the US. Others probably got killed here. I seriously considered joining the liberation war, but I decided to go to the recruiters in the US to get better training. I signed a contract and figured maybe I would be trained and then come here and help but before the end of my contract, Museveni took over and was very successful. So I just continued with my life over there.

Could you tell us about your experience and ranking?

Like any other army, you start at the lowest level and grow through the ranks. Promotions in the Armed Forces overseas are not as fast as here. You go through the ranks and are tested as you fight battles. There are various competitions that you go through to get promoted. You get transferred here and there and get involved in so many engagements. I’ve been involved in three or four major engagements so far in East Timor, the first and the second war in Iraq, and some minor skirmishes of the sort. My current rank is Lieutenant Commander (Lieutenant Colonel here).

How would you compare with your counterparts here in terms of skills?

I don’t think the opportunities and training that people get here are as advanced as what we get. We’ve got advanced technology; I’m privy to different ways of gathering intelligence that people here do not have. I do not really know what experience the people here have, but I think I’m in a better position to do certain things. Over the years I’ve played different roles. Some are intelligence, some are simply administrative, and others are just leadership. Right now I’ve been so disengaged in that because I’m getting ready to retire - I’ve been playing some administrative roles.

You want to quit?

I think I want to retire. I’ll retire probably next year when I make 24 years of service in 2009. I could get more promoted now than before but I’ve decided that it is time for me to go. I’m a single father; my children are 17 years old (twins) and they definitely need my attention. They will be at university next year, so they need my guidance.

Tell us about your role in Iraq

I went to Desert Storm after the war had started. I was deployed there for about six months, and our job then was to search and rescue. I was in helicopters and if somebody (American soldiers) got shot down I would go and rescue such an individual and bring them back. I was also involved in the transfer of troops from one area to another or sending aid.

Do you choose what you want to do?

The Pentagon gives orders to you and you just do that job, depending on your rank, specialty and training. My superiors recognized the skills I had in terms of leadership and they assigned me tasks and promotions because I was educated, had an age advantage, and my African background gave me various values and endurance. Most American people do not have the stamina that we have, so I was happy to have those things. Those are the qualities I thought I could bring to our military or even the government here, given a chance...I could provide some help in terms of guidance, leadership or military tasking; I can gladly do that.

Would you serve in the UPDF when you retire?

Well, sure, if there is some role to play. I would purely do it on the basis of help and use my experience to help develop this nation. The US government has spent a lot of money on me in terms of training and experience gained over the years. I think the US government would gladly hire me back in a different role, but I think the government here would benefit more from my experience. My general view of African militaries is that they work hard, but probably not as smart as they hope to work. I think there are ways that we can teach UPDF ways of working smarter, not harder.
The problem in Africa and several third-world countries is that we have politicized the military. We’ve tended to regard African militaries as political entities serving a given regime, and there is always a loss when one regime goes and you start from ground zero to develop a new army. I dream of a time when we will have a neutral army, simply given the responsibility of defending that particular country; it would be much bigger, better, well equipped, and well experienced, because it would not have any lineage to anybody. An army composed of all the tribes of Uganda to take care of the country as a country, not as a tribe or political party or anything like that, would be ideal.

What specific role would you be interested in playing in Uganda?

I have dealt mostly with helicopter aviation, military planning in terms of wars, and I have done a lot of leadership roles – I do not know what their needs are! Usually some roles are so much inter-twined in their political roles...with very little regard to the constitution. Like I understand the head of the police here is an army officer. I have no idea how that was married.

You find this strange?

You do not normally find those things in the western democracies; people usually go up the ladder. To become a head of police, you really have to be very solid in terms of that area. Normally the police deal with civil disobedience, for example how to quell disarray and matters like that, but a general fights a war – that’s what he knows. Putting a general into the police is just like using a sledge hammer to hit a small nail.

Do you have a political ambition?

I hate partisan politics. But I’d like to use my experience to help develop our country. I have done urban and regional planning over the years. I went through Kampala and saw how terrible the infrastructure is. The city is (still) based on the 1950s model. I could advise on how to do certain things better. I don’t think we should have another war in this country because we have spilled a lot of Ugandan blood. We should learn to work together…Deep down, I think everybody wants a stable Uganda.

What is your take on the political situation in the country today?

I’m disappointed to see people a bit more divided. I think people have become less tolerant of the central government – at least here in the south; I don’t know about the north. They’ve become less trustful of government, and I can see that some people are on edge. And it goes back to having those enclaves of people that belong to certain groups or tribes – tribalism has always been a very divisive element in our society, and if we can get away from that, the better off we will be.
Things started going down because of Obote. I have no qualms about telling anybody that I dislike Obote because he disrupted this country. Amin came as a product of Obote’s disregard and what followed was just a mess. So we give a lot of credit to President Museveni for having come in and rescued the country at that time. Obviously, no one is perfect, and that is why there must be fine-tuning every so often. An American President cannot rule for more than eight years, no matter how good they are. Having term limits in place is so good because I do not think one person can have the best ideas for 20 or 30 years. People loved Museveni when he came in – I think they are less tolerant of him now. People are more driven by passion now than they were before, so that is very disappointing. It is a much more divided country today than it was the last time I came here.

What would you tell President Museveni if you met him today?

First of all, I would thank him for having had the courage to come in and having brought about some calm and normalcy. I would remind him about the history this country has gone through, like political turmoils, and perhaps caution him about not repeating that kind of thing. And I would tell him that we really treasure his leadership, but we could use his experience in a different role.
I would caution President Museveni about some of his close associates because they might be giving him a bad name. He is a very good man, but not all his confidants have good intentions. I would also tell the president to talk to the Americans and ask them to come and put their military bases here. Liberia is doing that. Allow them to come in and build a very big base, say in the north, because that gives us a chance to get some of the things we need to get here quickly. What that does for Uganda is, it creates development. Anywhere America goes, development follows.

Do you have contacts of the president or his people?

Not at all! If anybody does, let me know. My friend Perez, who I think is President Museveni’s cousin, is an ambassador – I’m sure he’s a busy man.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Obviously I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to come here. I also consider Uganda as my home. It is a very beautiful and well endowed country; even after all it has gone through. Uganda has so many resources. We are very educated people and we should use this opportunity to advance ourselves. I personally would like to come back and play a role in the development of this country, given a chance. There is also a corruption disease that we need to get rid of, but Ugandans should just love and work with each other, not fight or kill one another.

If you got any story of St. Henry's Kitovu high flying old boys, please forward it to the alumni and we will document it right here.

Walugembe's take on St. Henry's 13th July '08 celebrations

This is a version of St. Henry's College Kitovu, 13th July '08, celebrations as witnessed by Walugembe David. For your info, 13th July of every year, is a day to celebrate St. Henry the Patron saint of the college. Enjoy it all below;

The celebrations commenced with the laying of the foundation stone for the new computer lab in front of the Brother’s Residence (former Old Chapel). This was followed by Mass during which some students were confirmed. We arrived at about this time of the service. Members actively took part in the remaining bits of the service. We listened to some speeches at the end of the Mass. From the Chapel we headed for the Old Boys Meeting in the Library extension. While taking a quick count through the forms, we had about 130 Old Boys attending the Old Boys meeting. However the total number of Old Boys that attended this year’s St. Henry’s celebrations was approximately 200 Old Boys.

Among the highlights of the Old Boys meeting was the fact that we are slowly but surely achieving our aim of bridging the generation gap. Thanks to the efforts of the Kitovu Alumni Network Taskforce. We had representatives from the 1939 -1944 generation through to the 2002-2007 generation. Colleagues managed to identify with several potential employers and employees during the introductions/networking opportunities session. Others managed to identify with mentors and coaches as well.

Another key highlight was the introduction of the entire Alumni Community to the 100 years of SHACK’s existence hence the Centenary Jubilee Celebrations in 2022. (Vision 2022). Members were implored to start thinking and visualizing the Centenary Celebrations. The major emphasis is “How” do we “the Alumni” want to celebrate the 100 years of St. Henry's Academic College Kitovu (SHACK). A select committee chaired by Mr. Peter Ssamula Kiwanuka and Mr. Fred Otunnu was constituted to coordinate the official launching of the 100 years of SHACK.

Several projects such as the construction of the Multipurpose Hall, tarmacking of the paths within the College, Construction of the HSC Block, Dormitories and renovation of the existing building such as the chapel, Gutter Dormitories and many others are lined up awaiting the support of none other than we the Old Boys. So please let us synergize, strategize and plan on how we can all contribute towards this cause.

It is only 14 years to go! A proposal for the Kitovu Alumni Reunion Dinner sometime in December 2008 was also tabled and will be subjected to further debate during our next quarterly meeting in September 2008. At the end of the meeting we headed for lunch and later a soccer/basketball/handball matches whose results I may not wish to announce via this forum.

I thank you once again for supporting the cause of revamping the Kitovu Alumni Network.

Special thanks to all the old boys (OBs) who managed to make to St. Henry's College Kitovu - Masaka, Uganda - East Africa. Thank you for representing the rest of us who could not make it.

Thank you David for this beautiful account of events. A link complete with a web gallery of the pictures of the celebrations will be available soon on this blog.

Watch this space :-)

St. Henry's College Kitovu Day Celebrations - 13th July 2008

This is an account of events at the just concluded St. Henry's College Kitovu - Masaka as reported by Lino Owor Ogora

To start at the very beginning;

Following mobilization that took place mainly on the internet, all the Alumni who had confirmed or not confirmed their willingness to travel together to the college gathered at Pope Paul Memorial on the morning of the D day. Scheduled time for departure was 7:00 am, but as usual we ended up departing at about 8:15 African time. I hope we can improve this next time. Rumour has it that the on the previous evening several Kitovians had attended a Kasiki of a colleague (i forget his name) and therefore many were still nursing hungovers and could not make it.

As we waited for the other members to gather, a very enterprising Walugembe William took the opportunity to "kusubuza" Alumni Polo T - Shirts (now I advise any of you out there who have not got these T - Shirts to get them coz they are worth the money. They go for only 25K) while an equally enterprising Owen also took the opportunity to "Kubanja" whoever had not paid the fare yet. Other OBs and OGs took the opportunity greet each other and catch up after years of not seeing each other. Many people expressed disappointment with the low turn up of OGs though.

Finally we set when we felt we had waited long enough. But trust the ever sharp and die hard Kitovians never to give, which led to us having to park at a Petrol station to wait for two Kitovians who chased after us on Bodabodas as though their lives depended on it. The wait was worth it because they eventually added to the number of OGs which as I mentioned above was already dismal.

We then set off for Masaka, and I tell you the journey down there was one of the most interesting and memorable parts of the whole episode. That is when I realized that the spirit of "Solida" has never waned. throughout the journey we were entertained by the likes of Owen, Leo Kivumbi, Walugembe, etc etc and we never once dozed. OBs took time to talk briefly about what their professions were and to hand around business cards. But trust abatovu to abandon listening when we reached Lukaya and rush for the windows to stock up on "gonja" and "kikoko". A poor Owen was abandoned in the middle of a speech and the last I heard he was pleading "... banage muwulilize...."

From Lukaya we travelled on but excitement mounted when we were making the final acsent to the college. It was just exciting to see the great gates of SHACK, and the three statues of schoolboys beckoning to us, then finally the lush green grasses of the football pitches we all know so well. Guess the first person we saw on the chapel steps!! It was Brother Luwaga. Many guys recalled how he used to wake us up for mass. Then we saw Mr. Lwanga Kasozi who used to boast that his wife was "the dictionary" of Kitovu. Other people who came to welcome us included Mr. Obina aka Obinex - great physician. Well after the excitement had died down we joined in the mass which was already more than halfway (naye batovu are good bomalists when it comes to mass).

When the mass came to an end, there were the usual speeches from a number of persons whom I shall not mention here - you all know how interesting speeches are and how they keep you awake and alert. The next interesting stage of our visit was a meeting of all old boys in the Library extension. There was self introduction on an individual basis by the over 200 OBs present. Trust me there were guys who received standing ovations 'coz of the period in which they were at SHACK. There were guys who had been there as early as 1939. You all recall Mr. Kibirige Herman - he is now the deputy University secretary for Mutesa Royal University in Masaka - he also received a standing ovation.

The issues agreed upon in this meeting were of critical importance and this is where I urge all OBs to join hands. The major issue was the centenary celebrations which will take place in 2022. All Old boys have an obligation to bring on board the various Alumni who number over 7000.

After the meeting we went in for "Kimere" in the old DH. There was "ensilio" matoke, meat, name it all. We had time to interact some more and meet techers who taught us. Finally, we all marched to the fields to have game against the school football team.

In a nutshell we were "WALLOPED" by those boys in almost everything that took place. They made an easy work of the "KiKame" which they played as though they were in a training session in soccer. Nobody actually remembers the scoreline but I will leave the footballers who played to comment here and tell us the truth of what went on. I hear the goals against us were in double figures. In basketball we were also beaten although trust me it was not as bad as the soccer. The scoreline was 78 - 68 when I last saw the score board. Perhaps this was thanx to the presence two Sprite 2001 finalists - Frederick Alga and Myself and other very fit young men under the coachship of Kibuuka Vianey. Am not sure what transpired in handball.

Well the above is just a lesson that next time we need to go out there in full force and hammer these boys.

Comments are welcome.

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