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WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook users to start paying tax – Parliament

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The Ugandan parliament on Thursday passed a law, which imposed a tax on people using mobile social media networks.
The decision is in an attempt to increase revenue in the country.

The tax for users of WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook is minimal, at 200 Ugandan shillings (five cents) a day, but adds up to about 18 dollars a year .

“As a government, we thought it would be good to impose taxes on some aspects of the social media,” deputy government spokesman Shaban Bantariza, said on Thursday.

He added that “government is installing infrastructure like WiFi in areas around the country and it will not do this without our contribution through taxes.”

However, human rights groups expressed concern over the move, which reportedly came about after long-time leader Yoweri Museveni said social media helped spread gossip.

“This tax is detrimental to the enjoyment of freedom of expression,” said Livingstone Sewannyana, director of Uganda’s Foundation for Human Rights Initiative.

“Its prohibitive. It shows the repressive nature of the state which is amassing as much revenue as it can to its advantage,” he added.

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