(Xinhua) -- Civil society
organizations and rights activists on Friday criticized Uganda’s
legislators for passing a controversial bill that imposes a
daily tax on social media users in the country.
Livingstone Sewanyana, the executive director of Foundation for
Human Rights Initiative, told Xinhua in an interview that the
Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill 2018, which imposes a mandatory
daily tax of 200 shillings (0.05 U.S. dollars) for social media
users is unwarranted and unnecessary on tax payers.
"It is a restriction on people’s individual freedom to
express themselves and communicate freely since it makes access
costly and prohibitive," said Sewanyana.
"It is a double tax since we pay for airtime.
"Such a tax should be rejected.
"The bill once passed into law will be subjected to court
litigation to determine its constitutionality," he said.
The lawmakers on Wednesday passed the bill two months after
President Yoweri Museveni in March announced that the government
was planning to introduce taxes on social media platforms like
WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, LinkedIn, and Viber, on
alleged grounds that people were using them mainly for gossip.
Chris Obore, director of communications and public affairs at
Uganda’s Parliament, told Xinhua that the bill was passed to
enable the government to raise revenues to offer social
"The bill originated from the executive which runs
government. Parliament has passed it basing on the reasons the
executive advanced in order to run government," said Obore.
The proposed excise duty law, which takes effect from July 1,
2018, also imposes 1 percent levy on the mobile money
transactions, which includes cash deposits and withdrawals using
a mobile phone aimed at growing domestic budget financing.
Uganda has 23,529,290 mobile phone subscribers, according to
the recent report of the Ugandan Communications Commission.
Ugandan car dealers
welcome bill banning
importation of vehicles over 15 years old
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Ugandan car dealers on Friday
welcomed the proposed law banning the importation of cars
manufactured more than 15 years ago.
Marvin Ayebale, secretary general of Associated Motor
Dealers, said there must be a limit on every sort of junk coming
into the country.
Chris Obore, the director of communications and public
affairs at Uganda’s Parliament, told Xinhua that bill is aimed
at promoting road safety.
"The essence (of the bill) is to regulate traffic and promote
road safety in the country," said Obore.
The East African country registers at least 20,000 accidents
with over 2,000 deaths each year, making it one of the countries
with the highest road accident fatality rates in the world,
according to police figures.
The act exempts heavy vehicles such as breakdown lorries,
crane lorries, road sweeper lorries, fire fighting vehicles,
concrete mixer lorries, spraying lorries, mobile workshops and
forklifts among others.
Armored vehicles, agricultural and forestry tractors will
also be exempted.
Uganda boxing federation
bans top officials for 12 years
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
The Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) has banned
three of its top officials for 12 years, warning that any boxing
club that associates with them risks getting the same penalty.
Moses Muhangi, president UBF told Xinhua on Thursday that the
General Assembly of the Federation decided to ban Fred Kavuma,
vice president in charge of administration, former UBF trustees
Kenneth Gimugu and Paul Ayasi for what it called unbecoming
The trio last year took the Federation to court, a move the
other members of UBF said was putting the sport into disrepute.
They argued that they should have gone to the gazetted sports
Muhangi said the three will not be allowed in any boxing
activity warning that any club that associates with them will
also be banned.
Government last year suspended the boxing body over the
disappearance of three players who had traveled to Germany for
the 2017 AIBA World boxing championship.