Many Ugandans were Sunday unable to access social media platforms after the government directive to charge users took effect.
Last month, Uganda’s parliament passed new laws that introduced a new tax for use of popular social media platforms which include WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangouts, Yahoo Messenger, Instagram, YouTube, Skype and others.
Users of these platforms are required to pay Sh5.20 (UGX200) daily before they can access them.
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“Many Ugandans online unable to access social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp following government directive to tax users UGX 200 daily before they can access them. The directive was effected on Sunday at mid-night,” read a tweet from NTV Uganda.
President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the changes, arguing that social media encourages gossip.
The new Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill will also impose various other taxes, including a one per cent levy on the total value of mobile money transactions.
State Minister for Finance David Bahati told parliament that the tax increases were needed to help Uganda pay off its growing national debt.