Monday 2nd July 2018
A group of six people including an NBS television journalist have sued government for imposing a tax on social media.
A shs200 tax per day for social media users that was recently passed by parliament was effected on Saturday July 1st at the start of the 2018/2019 financial year causing uproar among the public.
On Monday six people including Raymond Mujuni, a journalist, Daniel Bill Opio, Emmanuel Okiror, Moses Baguma, Silver Kayondo, a lawyer and the Cyber Law Initiative Limited petitioned the Constitutional Court in Kampala over the new tax suing the Attorney General, Uganda Communications Commission and Uganda Revenue Authority arguing that section 3(b) and 6(c) of the Excise Duty Act which imposes a shs200 tax per day contravenes the constitution.
The petitioners noted that the tax means that social media will be accessed by only economically empowered.
They also noted that tax suffocates internet based or enabled businesses, budding entrepreneurs, job searching, talent promotion, creativity and innovation which is an infringement and contravention of economic rights guaranteed by the constitution.
The group contends that the new tax limits access to social media and in turn violates the right to freedom of expression, public participation, political mobilization, peaceful assembly and unarmed demonstration.
They also contend that the new tax limits access to information and in turn contravenes the constitution.
The groups in their petition say the new tax economically complicates and strangulates the online enjoyment of fundamental human rights that are not hindered offline.
The group thus wants the Constitutional Court to issue orders that the tax is illegal and unconstitutional and stop government from levying it from the members of the public.
“Court should order UCC to within six months from the date of judgment enact regulations for the OTT in a manner that guarantees free access, Internet neutrality and open internet principles,” the group argues.
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website