‘OMUSOLO’, that is a translation of the word TAX in the local Buganda dialect, which mostly inspired fear in the 90s and the need to hide under beds. It’s 2018 and Ugandans might yet again start jumping digital fences while running away from the this ‘thing’ called TAX.
Matia Kasaija, the Finance Minister of this pearl of Africa’ read out a 32.7 trillion budget (Not dollars but Uganda Shillings) for the financial year 2018/2019 and with it came the Mobile Money TAX, Social Media TAX and last but not appreciated, the FUEL TAX.
For most of you who don’t follow current affairs and probably the reason you wonder why that ‘ROLEX’ will cost 3k next year, this is a brief breakdown of the new ‘omusolos’.
A 2017 Bank of Uganda report, highlighted an increase in mobile money transactions from 3.6 trillion UGX to 4.9 trillion.
‘Oh wow’, some governemt official must have said ‘ this is an opportunity to make money from Ugandans’ and hence this financial year, ‘You’ and I will be taxed a 1% fee on any mobile money transaction i.e withdrawals, deposits and payments!
Now 1% might seem small to some of you, but consult your math teacher. You will be amazed.
I feel sorry for your girlfriends and boyfriends because, the social media Tax is going to complicate the already complicated relationships.
From 1st July, you Whatsapp and Facebook users plus instagramers and any social media slayers will have to pay a mandatory 200ugxbefore you can tell us about your lunch at JAVAS.
The government expects to raise 284 Billion from this TAX! Mbu reports of abuse, fake news and cheating partners plus criminal activities, implored some government official to put this tax in place.
Now, when oil was discovered in Hoima, some Ugandans thought fuel prices would go down (let me even laugh), the president spoke out and told us Ugandans that he’s not our servant and that oil in Hoima, it’s his not yours.
So you should know who you are paying this last tax to, the FUEL TAX! For every liter you buy, (currently sold at 4099UGX or higher) , you will have to pay an extra 100ugx. The money collected from this tax is mbu intended for road maintenance.
So as you see, 2018/2019 financial is about to take a pinch from your pockets. Question is, how should we feel about all this tax imposed on us? Personally, I don’t mind being taxed, it’s this money collected that pays government officials, constructs roads and pretty much sustains countries.
The major problem for Uganda is the chronic disease called ‘corruption’. Committees have been set up to eradicate and cure this illness but these efforts seem futile.
So this worries me on how all this money collected from mobile money, social media and fuel will be used. Will it be for GOD and My Country or my stomach?
Idris Matu is a Producer at NTV Uganda