Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Where is the fairness in Uganda's social media tax?


Several Ugandans are upset by the implementation the over the top services tax which has seen telecommunications companies in the country block access to social media sites unless one pays daily shillings 200 ($0.05). Upon paying the damn tax one is allowed access. Some Ugandans are avoiding this tax using virtual private networks (VPNs). How long they continue using VPNs is a matter for another discussion.

Apparently, the atmosphere is that a number of people are irked by this tax.  Not because Shs200 for OTT tax (social media tax) is a lot of money for most Ugandans who use social media but it is the idea that "I should pay Gov't before I can communicate anything using social media." Never mind, that one will have already bought airtime which has 18% Value Added Tax. Often times many people use airtime to buy data bundles. 
It is strange that law makers in their wisdom thought it was right for end users to again pay to be able to access the over the top internet services, which they will have already paid for through data bundles from the telecoms. Instead of taxing the profits of the telecoms more and more, this government is colluding with the telecoms to deny Ugandans the ability to communicate unless they pay the damn tax of $0.05 per day. Where is the fairness in the OTT tax?

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