3rd July 2018
A youth activist group known as ‘Sauti ya Vijana’ has given government a five day ultimatum to rescind the social media and mobile money taxes or else the outcomes will be dire.
There has been a public uproar since July 1 when the new shs200 per day tax for social media users and one percent on mobile money transactions came into effect.
Julius Bwanika, the group’s director of operations while addressing journalists in Kampala on Tuesday, said that the new taxes are not fair because they are only meant to cripple Ugandans financially and not helping the country develop. He added that the taxes infringe on the people’s right to access information and freedom of expression as enshrined in the constitution.
The group said the mobile money tax is only punitive and meant to discourage the public from using mobile money as opposed to traditional banking services, a thing they said is wrong.
They argued that mobile money services are accessed by many including those in rural areas, adding that putting a one percent tax on transactions would cripple a number of businesses.
The group thus issued a five day ultimatum to government to rescind what they termed as a diabolical tax policy adding that failure to do so would compel them to mobilize the people to protest against the unpopular taxes.
“Failure to do so, we shall mobilize Ugandans who are not able to afford these exorbitant taxes and offer them alternatives to forego the tax,” Mukiibi said.
A number of Ugandans have since the effecting of the social media and mobile money taxes expressed concern over what they termed as a deliberate move to deny citizens access to information especially through social media.
The Uganda Communications Commission Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi on Monday defended the social media tax as being a good one and will enable government benefit from “these American” companies that have been making billions of money through social media .
“We have been complaining that we are losing money. This decision by government is the right decision.”
He however noted that government will review the progress of the social media tax after two weeks of its implementation.
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website