Uganda charges daily 'social media app' fee

02 Jul 2018 / 22:52 H.

KAMPALA: Ugandans who use social media apps on their mobile phones – such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram or Skype – must now pay a small fee per day.
The government hopes to generate US$360 million (RM1.45 billion) per year, that would represent about 4% of annual state spending.
Critics see the tax as an attempt by President Yoveri Museveni to make life more difficult for his opponents.

Museveni, an active Twitter user who has been in power since 1986, blames social media for the spread of rumours and gossip.
During the 2016 general election, the government shut down mobile internet to make it difficult for the Opposition to organise protests.
Starting on Sunday, every Ugandan who uses social media via mobile internet has to pay 200 schillings a day (20 sen).
Phone companies will collect the tax for the state.
The tax would amount to about US$18 per year on average, which is about 3% of annual per capita income in the East African country.
Of Uganda's 40 million people, about 17 million have access to the internet via their mobiles. – dpa

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