The Minister for Information Communications Technology and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze has defended the proposed tax on social media platforms including Facebook and WhatsApp saying its meant to promote local content.
The said tax was proposed by the Head of State, President Yoweri Museveni, a move he said was meant to reduce ‘lugambo’ (gossip) on social media.
This has since received criticism and rejection from members of the public including legislators, rights defenders, and educationists among others who say that nothing will be realized even if the taxes are introduced.
Masaka Municipality Member of Parliament Mathias Mpuuga said that even if the government introduces new taxes nothing will be realized at the end.
“Ugandans pay a lot of taxes already but much end up being spent to fulfill political agendas at the expense of the tax payers,” he said.
But Minister Tumwebaze says that the move is aimed at promoting local content rather than boosting the country’s revenue.
“This tax proposal is not for boosting revenue collection. We want to tax those applications so that even our local technology innovators can have a chance to produce their own apps,” said Tumwebaze.
“We would be taxing Facebook or WhatsApp developers if they were in Uganda because they are making a lot of money from Ugandans. But since they are not in Uganda, we will tax their users,” he added.