Uganda Social Media Tax to Be Reviewed

Uganda is reviewing its decision to impose taxes on the use of social media and on money transactions by mobile phone, following a public backlash.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda made the announcement soon after police broke up a protest against the taxes.

President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the taxes to boost government revenue and to end “gossip” on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.

Critics accused the 75-year-old of trying to stifle dissenting voices.

The social media tax targets the use of what are described as Over The Top (OTT) services, which offer “voice and messaging over the internet”, according to a previous statement by telecom companies.

Users are asked to make an electronic payment before they can access the sites.

The social media tax is 200 Uganda shillings [$0.05, £0.04].

Activists argue that while the amount may seem little, it represents a significant slice of what poorer people are paying for getting online.

BBC

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