In the last days of the month of May, Ugandans on social media were slapped with a daily levy by the Parliament in a bid to raise revenue. Ugandans have since been paying 200 shillings ($0.0531) per day for services such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp and all other Over-the-top services. Some Ugandans have actually resorted to using Virtual Private networks in a bid to avoid paying the controversial tax.
However, four months down the road, the same members of Parliament who spearheaded the passing of the Excise Duty (Amendment) Act of 2018 have cried foul of the repercussions of the tax. MP Fungaroo Kaps Hassan raised the issue on the floor of Parliament and went ahead to explain how the tax has deterred legislators from accessing important information on their gadgets particularly Parliamentary iPads.
Another Member of Parliament raised a concern about hackers using this opportunity to compromise Parliamentary reports that are kept by Committee heads and other key members of the various committees. The MPs went ahead to ask the Parliamentary Commission that is directly charged with the legislators’ welfare to clear with Uganda Revenue Authority for the OTT tax.
This has sparked outrage online as citizens have questioned the moral fibre of the legislators and how they can not raise an amount of shs.200 every day despite huge emoluments.