Ugandan youths reject tax on social media and mobile money

Tuesday July 03 2018

Ugandan youths, including journalists, entertainers, entrepreneurs and bloggers have rejected the new taxes levied on social media use and mobile money transactions stating that the tax is an impediment and a blockade against expression, interaction, access to information, finding job opportunities and entrepreneurship.

They have urged government to address these concerns by Friday 6th July 2018 some of which are that small and medium businesses that heavily rely on the internet and social media are struggling even harder because of what they have called a triple tax on social media use and mobile money transactions.

The youths also stated that the tax is "backward" and discriminatory as ordinary Ugandans who can only afford data of UGX 500 shouldn't be charged the UGX 200 tax to access social media applications.

"The tax renders access to social media a preserve of the economically empowered despite many of our people living in extreme poverty," said NGO Forum's Penelope Sanyu who spoke on behalf of the Ugandan youths and entrepreneurs.

The youths including Robert Kyagulanyi, MP of Kyadondo East and Gerald Karuhanga, MP Ntungamo Municipality were speaking at a press conference held at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

Ms. Sanyu said the tax on social media depicts a continued exclusion of young people from national processes like the national budgeting process which are dominated by and serve the interests of the older generation that is out of touch with the realities of young people in Uganda.

"This tax would definitely never have passed if young people were consulted because we know our hustle," Sanyu said.

Robert Kyagulanyi said the tax is oppressive and is making life more difficult for young people.