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Museveni tells off Ugandans over social media tax

Uganda President  Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday justified taxing social media users, saying it is a luxury “by those who are enjoying themselves or those who are malicious.”

In a statement on Twitter, the President defended the country’s new social media tax, saying Ugandans were using such platforms for “lying”, and squandering the nation’s hard currency on fees to foreign-owned telecoms firms.

Mr Museveni insisted that all the moral reasons are in favour of that tax.

“The social – media users have no right to squander the dollars I earn from my coffee, my milk etc by endlessly donating money to foreign telephone Companies through chatting or even lying and, then, they are allergic to even a modest contribution to their country whose collective wealth they are misusing,” said the Ugandan President in a statement.

In May, Uganda’s parliament passed new tax laws that introduced a levy of Ushs200 ($0.05) per day for access to a range of online services.

The platforms that have been identified by the country’s revenue service for the tax include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, YouTube, Skype, Yahoo Messenger and many others.

The tax, collected by mobile phone internet service providers since July 1, is equivalent to about 20 percent of what typical Ugandan users pay for their mobile phone data plans.

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