Uganda to tax social media users from July

The government of Uganda has announced plans to begin taxing its citizens who use social media as part of efforts to raise revenue.

The country’s Finance Minister Matia Kasaija is reported by Reuters to have said that each mobile phone subscriber using platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook would be charged $0.027 per day (200 Ugandan shillings).

“We’re looking for money to maintain the security of the country and extend electricity so that you people can enjoy more of social media, more often, more frequently,” Kasaija said.

More than 40 percent of people use the internet in Uganda but cost of data is high like in other African countries.

About 23.6 million people out of Uganda’s 41 million population use mobile phones and 17 million use the internet.

The latest move is considered an attempt to prevent people from using social media and suppress their ability to express themselves on platforms that are beyond the control of the government.

The latest proposal has been included in Uganda’s budget for the 2018/19 fiscal year starting in July.

The cabinet has been approved and now parliament is set to also approve it.



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