Uganda’s latest social media tax system is facing a legal challenge after a group of activists filed a petition in court.
The petition filed to the constitutional court says the policy is awkward.
The tax regime which affects social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook has taken effect from this month.
Uganda’s Parliament last month passed the law that imposing a tax of $0.05 daily for each social media user.
A lawyer for the petitioners, Daniel Bill Opio says the is unconstitutional.
“Youths are taking on initiatives toward innovation and technology mostly using these … platforms. Once you introduce a tax … you are actually killing this budding entrepreneurship,” Opio added.
The controversial law affects users of all social media platforms accessing the internet.
The government of Uganda says the latest move is part of plans to raise revenue.
The country’s Finance Minister Matia Kasaija had 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.