The Speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga says she doesn’t believe that the public should pay OTT for the MPs. While addressing journalists at parliament on Thursday, Kadaga promised to find out those behind the decision and scrutinize the contract.
Although the parties in the suit agreed on some legal matters in the case during conferencing before the Constitutional Court Registrar, Sarah Langa in November 2018, the matter hasnt been fixed for hearing.
Parliaments Committee on Information and Communication Technology early this month ordered the Information and Communication Technology ICT Ministry to conduct an assessment on the impact of the social media tax.
Sumin Namaganda, the Public Relations Officer, Airtel Uganda, says that the refund process started today. Namaganda declined to reveal further details, saying that Airtel will issue a formal communication.
Juliet Nanfuka, from the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa CIPESA, says that the social media tax excludes vulnerable groups such as women and youth whose opportunities to successful market and growth of business are now limited by the new taxes.
Several social media users in Uganda have downloaded Virtual Private Networks VPN as a measure to bypass the 200 shillings Over the Top Taxes OTT, however experts warn that VPNs are more costly and risky.
The two groups appealed to parliament to reconsider the Excise Duty Amendment Act, 2018 with a view of removing the 200 Shillings over the Top OTT tax, and the 1 percent deduction on mobile money transactions which came into effect on July 1, 2018.
As the debate on the new Shilling 200 per day Over the Top OTT commonly known as social media tax and one percent tax on mobile money rages on, Uganda Radio Network traces back the debate by Members of the Tenth Parliament, in which they handled the two taxes. Uganda Radio Network revisits the debate on the taxes and brings you the details of who said what.
Government introduced a UGX 200 daily tax on social media users and a one percent tax on mobile money transactions. Bahati says the global social networking sites are minting a lot of revenue through advertising from Uganda that government is targeting for taxing.
Felix Owilo the Senior Marketing Manager at Smile Telecom, noted that they opted to pay taxes on behalf of its customers because the new social media tax requires that telecom companies either absorb the costs or extend the burden to the client.
A number of citizens posted on social media that they have defied payment of the social tax by using virtual private networks VPN applications. VPN enables internet users to use data bought from Uganda telecom companies but hide their Internet Protocol IP. The IP addresses are distributed geographically and can be used to identify internet users location. People with VPN unblocked their social media sites without paying tax.