Uganda plans to introduce a brand new tax on social media customers from July, prompting issues that President Yoweri Museveni is making an attempt to crack down on opposition to his 32-year-rule.

The transfer is not likely to move down smartly in a rustic the place greater than 40 % of other people use the web.

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija instructed Reuters that the tax will levy 200 Ugandan shillings (US$zero.027) consistent with day on every cell phone subscriber the usage of platforms equivalent to WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.

“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,” he stated.

But Museveni turns out to have a unique take on the legislation. In a observation quoted in Ugandan day-to-day The Daily Monitoron April 1, he portrayed social media websites as platforms for “lugambo” (which is Lugwere for “gossip”): “Lugambo on social media (opinions, prejudices, insults, friendly chats) and advertisements by Google and I do not know who else must pay tax because we need resources to cope with the consequences of their lugambo.”

Meanwhile some human rights activists have taken to social media to criticise the proposal.

“It’s part of a wider attempt to curtail freedoms of expression,” Rosebell Kagumire, a human rights activist and blogger, stated.

Around 23.6 million of Uganda’s 41 million persons are cell phone subscribers, whilst 17 million use the web.

Kasaija stated the proposal were despatched to parliament this week for overview after being licensed through the cupboard.

The government blocked get entry to to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp right through the newest basic election, in 2016.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2018-05-07

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