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Lawyers speaks out on Social media tax

by Odongo Christopher

 

Over the top tax, a tax on the use of social media has been described as negative occurrence in Uganda, which works against digital inclusion.

 

This is according to city Tech Media and Telecom lawyer Silver Kayondo. Uganda has effective July 1 blocked access to social media such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google plus among others unless users pay a daily tax of 200 Shillings.

Despite the public uproar, the government has maintained the taxes. But Kayondo says that the charges works against the international instruments in which access is enshrined as a basic human rights, to which Uganda is a signatory.

He however, adds that while Uganda is a signatory to several International legal instruments on digital inclusion, Ugandan law re

 

mains sovereign. Juliet Nanfuka, from Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), say however, that the social media tax exclude the vulnerable such as women and the youth whose opportunities to successful market and growth of business are now limited by the new taxes.

Minister of ICT Frank Tumwebaze has dismissed the lawyers claims. He said the social media tax will boost the development and will make youths spend time on more productive websites other than social media which described were mainly being used by jobless and idle youths.

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