Tag Archives: Uganda

Anger as social media tax hits Uganda

Many Ugandans are turning to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to bypass a new social media tax that came into force on Sunday.

The new law imposes a 200 shilling [$0.05, £0.04] daily levy on people using internet messaging platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Viber.

President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the changes, arguing that social media encouraged gossip. Critics say the law curtails freedom of expression.

A VPN gets around government censorship by redirecting your internet activity to a computer in a different country.

Now the head of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has said VPNs will be blocked, provoking plenty of responses online:

It’s not the first time the government has cracked down on social media users.

In 2016, social media platforms were blocked in Uganda on election day to stop people “telling lies”, President Museveni said.



Uganda phone firms ready for WhatsApp tax

Three mobile network providers in Uganda have issued a joint statement to help their customers comply with a law taxing social media use, which comes into effect on 1 July.

Airtel, MTN and Africell have provided a daily, weekly and monthly pay structure and a guide on how to make payments.

MPs passed a law to impose the controversial tax in May after President Yoweri Museveni said social media encouraged gossip.

People using internet messaging platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber and Twitter will have to pay a daily levy of 200 shilling ($0.05, £0.04).

Here is the full statement from the three mobile phone companies:

Source: Morning Call

Four arrested over poisoning of lions in Tanzania

Four people have been arrested in Tanzania after nine lions were poisoned in the Serengeti National Park.

Wildlife officials had discovered the carcasses over the weekend.

The Serengeti is believed to be home to around 3,000 thousand lions.

Last month in neighbouring Uganda, eleven lions were found dead from suspected poisoning at Queen Elizabeth National Park.

It’s thought people living in the area poisoned the lions after they had attacked and killed their cattle.

Four people have been arrested in Tanzania after nine lions were poisoned in the Serengeti National Park.

Wildlife officials had discovered the carcasses over the weekend.

What are you doing to make sure I don’t disappear?

About 20 women – joined by a few men – have been protesting outside the police headquarters in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, against women being kidnapped, sexually abused and killed for small ransoms.

Godiva Akullo said that she and others pitched up outside police headquarters to challenge them to show that women’s lives matter:

Women from all walks of live are getting kidnapped which is why we’re here. We are a group of women who are sex workers, lawyers, teachers.”

Where are the police when we need to be protected?”

Uganda bans import of old cars

Uganda’s parliament has passed legislation banning the import of vehicles older than 15 years.

The policy is meant to fight environmental pollution and help reduce road accidents, which have been blamed on older cars.

Curbing pollution and improving road safety have become major points of debate in Uganda.

Uganda observed three days of national mourning this week following a bus accident over the weekend, which killed more than 20 people.

Recent surveys have named the capital, Kampala, as one of the most-polluted cities in Africa.

But car importers warn banning old vehicles will lead to job losses and make it harder for poorer Ugandans to afford a car.

A new car, which is often expensive, incurs taxes of more than 50%.

Uganda imposes WhatsApp and Facebook tax ‘to stop gossip’

Ugandans who use the internet messaging service WhatsApp will be charged a daily tax of 200 shillings ($0.05; £0.04) after parliament approved a controversial new law on Wednesday.

It comes into force on 1 July, and will also apply to other social media apps like Facebook.

Mobile money transactions will also be taxed, with a 1% levy on the total value of each transaction.

President Yoweri Museveni was quoted in Ugandan media last month as saying social media platforms are used “mainly for gossip”.

Human rights activists disagree. “It’s part of a wider attempt to curtail freedoms of expression,” blogger Rosebell Kagumire told Reuters.

At least three MPs have criticised the new rules as “double taxation”, according to the privately-owned Daily Monitor newspaper.

Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyaggulanyi, aka Bobi Wine – as well as Joshua Anywarach and Silas Aogon – said that because users access WhatsApp through taxed airtime, an additional tax would infringe their rights.

Another MP, Patrick Nsamba of the ruling party, said the tax will hurt the poorest most:

It is very easy for an MP to say that 1% is little money, but to people who earn less than a dollar a day, it is going to break their backs.”

Daily Monitor

Ugandan woman ‘fakes own kidnap’

A Ugandan woman has found herself in hot water after allegedly faking her own kidnapping, local newspaper The Daily Monitor reports.

According to the outlet, Christine Nabasumba’s family received calls saying she had been kidnapped on her way home from work on Friday.

The kidnappers, it was claimed, wanted 10m Ugandan shillings ($2,675; £2,000) in exchange for her safe return.

However, on Monday morning police in the capital Kampala had some surprising news for her desperate father – who had enlisted officers’ help in finding the 25-year-old.

Police spokesman Luke Oweyesigire said she had been found in a guest house just 16km (nine miles) from her home in Busega, Kampala.

He added she was now facing charges for “giving false information to the public”.

Source: Daily Monitor