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.
There is also a 1% levy on the total value of mobile phone money transactions, affecting poorer Ugandans who rarely use banking services.
The taxes came into effect at the beginning of the month.
It is unclear how much revenue the government had hoped to raise through the taxes.
Some have used Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to get around paying.
In a statement to parliament, Mr. Rugunda said: “Government is now reviewing the taxes taking into consideration the concerns of the public and its implications on the budget.
“The president has provided guidance on the matter and encouraged further discussion with a view to reaching consensus on how we should raise the much-needed revenue to finance our budget.”
A revised budget is due to be tabled in parliament on 19 July.
Earlier, police arrested two people and fired tear gas and live ammunition in the air to break up a protest by about 300 people, AFP news agency reports.
The protest was led by popular Ugandan singer and independent MP Robert Kyagulanyi, who is known to his music fans as Bobi Wine.
A Civil/Structural Engineer & Freelance Blogger, Journalist, Social Media Mogul, Digital Marketer, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist. CEO of Skyline Consortium & 9189 Media Consult and Co-Founder of Team Sarkodie. An alumnus of Prempeh College where he read General Science. He holds a first degree in Bachelor of Science from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. His mentors are Alvar Alto, Rupert Murdoch, Piers Mogan, Mensa Otabil, Bernard ElBernard Nelson-Eshun. Blogs for; http://www.233times.com | www.paemuka.com | http://www.playmusicgh.com | http://www.muzikiq.com | http://www.brandsaid.biz . Social Media Manager for Eon3 Group | BrandsAid | Kings Crown Media | Carabao Africa Ghana & Africa | Calvary Temple - ICGC | Team Sarkodie | Muzik IQ | Kwaw Kese Please inquire more via Email: [email protected] | [email protected] Instagram & Twitter: @wise_tskd Facebook: Ell Samwise LinkedIn: EllSamwise King Dogbeview all posts by: Ellsamwise King
233times.com is a Ghanaian media house which serves as a major source of exclusive interviews ,music and video downloads, news and more.
233times.com reports on major events,news covering entertainment, politics, sports, etc from within Ghana, Africa and beyond.
We have a platform for the amateur artistes to portray their staggering talents ...more...
To advertise with us or make enquiries, please visit 233times.com/advertise or call +233266121799 (Selorm), +233248185848 (Nana Kwesi)