“Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.” – Calvin Coolidge
You know something stings, when a certain individual of the stature of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni addresses the Social Media Tax, that he wrote about to his Finance Minister Matia Kasaija on March 2018 and also was passed in May 2018 and levied from the 1st July 2018. This means that the President has twice addressed it since levying it. Therefore, what he says again is to defend this cause. Still, it is not evidence of wisdom or of consideration of how if affects the public. It is like that part of taxation has passed the old-mans head. Not that it is surprising, because its never his fault and never he who hurts people. It is always someone else or a misunderstood.
“Internet use can be sometimes for educational purposes and research. This should not be taxed. However, using internet to access social media for chatting, recreation, malice, subversion, inciting murder, is definitely a luxury. As I said in my earlier message, it is, moreover, a luxury that is costly to the country’s economy apart from the shillings the users keep spending to use the internet to access the social media (facebook). The foreign telephone companies accumulate a lot of local shillings from the social media merry- makers or malice promoters; they, then, go to the forex bureaus and buy the dollars I have earned from my milk products, from coffee, from tea etc etc and, guess what, send abroad (send back the very dollars we had just earned) this hard currency. Thereby, putting pressure on our shillings. In this heammorage, they are joined by the people of games betting where, again, betting machines are owned by the foreigners. This is not only extravagance but also parasitism. Our people are unknowingly being used by foreign interests (telephone companies, social media companies) to parasite on us- to take away our hard earned dollars in order to have fun or promote malice on social media. That is why a social media tax is, really, a minimum. Instead of re-introducing foreign exchange control which other countries still have, we have simply said: “Please since you are endlessly having fun or expressing your views at the expense of the dollars we have earned, make a modest contribution to the building of the country”. Those involved, should, surely, happily, at least, do this minimum” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘President Responds to feed back to earlier statement on the new social media and mobile money taxes’ 12.07.2018).
It is like he doesn’t understand what he does, the shillings are not taken from the Foreign Companies licensed to trade and operate in Uganda. No, this tax is still going directly to the citizens. So, if the President was seriously offended by the operations of these Telcoms and their businesses. However, the Social Media and the other Exercise Duty are going directly taxation of the public, not the businesses.
Therefore, when he complains about what people write on the Social Media, he himself are in the same regard calling people again parasites. He is calling foreign companies evil leeches feeding of the public. Seriously, he speaking and calling them out. The President says all citizens on Social Media are: “malice, subversion, inciting murder, is definitely a luxury”.
So it is okay to do malice, subversion, inciting murder as long as you pay 200 shillings a-day, than it is cool? Is that what he is saying? Who is promoting malice on Social Media?
It is like the man saying foreign companies are parasites, the man who has called former allies bean weevil and himself the Leopards Anus. Are saying other people are malicious. Maybe, he should clean his own language, before lecturing people online. Its more that here. That is why I only took a small fraction of the piece he wrote. Because seriously, it is not worth your time and needs to be checked for what is truth and fiction.
If he had a problem with Foreign Telecoms being licensed and operating in Uganda. He shouldn’t have burned and sold-off Uganda Telecom to the Libyans, neither made sure Airtel, MTN and other companies could take the market shares. If they couldn’t do that in legal ways, they would have been suspended and lost their licenses. However, the state has accepted their business and they are there for a reason. These companies are not leaching money, but creating business in the marketplace, also the state has allowed it to happen.
It is not a modest contribution to the state of taking 200 shillings a day, when it cost 70,000 shillings if they do it daily. It is about 20% of the lowest paid yearly salaries of the civil servants by his government. The NRM has failed the people, they are not only taking their PAYE, VAT, Income Tax on the Cellphone Companies and their services, but also the Social Media Tax and Mobile Money Tax (On all three stages of the operation). This is just an insult to them for doing that and not just a modest contribution.
A modest contribution would be to give up the confidential spending on him and the State House, also cut the budget of the State House in half. That is if he cares about the government services, these supposed funds collected this way might also go there. I doubt this funds collected with the Social Media Tax and Mobile Money Tax will go to roads or schools, because if he had cared about that, the funds would have gone there more often for the last 32 years.
It is insulting to people’s intelligence, the second lecture made by Museveni on the subject. Still, not the decent wisdom the man should have dropped. It is like they are continuing to blame the companies, but still defending of taxing the people. If the companies are the problem, tax them and their operations. Be real. Shut up! Peace.