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Archive for the tag “James Kakooza”

NRM MPs bought for cheap: 2nd Mobile Money vote cost less than an Audi R8 Quattro!

Today, it is revealed what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Members of Parliaments (MPs) was promised on the 1st October at the Entebbe State House on the day before the second time voting for the newly enacted taxes, which are on Social Media and Mobile Money. Clearly, the President and his allies wanted to sweeten the juice, as they was promised some more money. Not that it was much.

During the meeting, legislators (according to our source) were promised 15 millions each to vote “No” opposing the scrapping off of 0.5% as proposed by MP Wilfred Niwagaba last week when the bill had reached committee stage. In the vote, 164 MPs agreed to maintain the levy on mobile money while 124 voted to have it scrapped. A total of 288 legislators were present and voted” (Moses Namayo – ‘MPs promised Shs 15m each for vote to keep mobile money tax- Reports’ 03.10.2018, link: http://nilepost.co.ug/2018/10/03/mps-promised-shs-15m-each-for-vote-to-keep-mobile-money-tax-reports/).

I would have been thinking that the MPs would be more costly, if not their greed is making them cheap and Bosco knows it. As they are now accepting to get a small pickle push of 15 million shillings or $ 3,924 USD, which is less than 4,000 dollars each. When your hearing that, you surprised how little that is to keep a tax, which is hurting huge part of the population and also making every transaction more expensive. They are still making it expensive and costly for the public to takeout money through the mobile money. In a Republic where it is costly to even be ordinary banking.

That is why it weird and sad that these NRM MPs are that cheap, that Bosco can pay them off with only 4,000 USD or 15 million shillings. If you take it all collectively, there was a 164 MPs who voted for it and adding up. That would be a total 640m shillings or $167k USD. Which is not more worth than one 2018 Audi R8 Quattro, which costs $164,900. If a few more had voted for keeping the Mobile Money, than Bosco might have used the amount for an upgraded version: “The R8 Spyder convertible costs $177,100, and the more-powerful R8 Plus will cost about $194,400” (Cherise Threewitt – ‘ Cars That Cost $100,000’ 28.09.2018, link: https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/cars-that-cost-100-grand).

So, the NRM MPs isn’t really that expensive, their ideals, their egos and their greed isn’t costing more than super Audi R8 Quattro. That is expensive enough for me to never in my life-time to touch it. But if someone should be bribed to sell out their constituents for a destructive tax. All done in favor of Bosco. The pay-off should be bigger, there should be enough for a car-park filled with Audi R8 Quattro’s. Not just selling out for one. I was disappointed, when the Age Limit pay-off, wasn’t costing more than one Aston Martin. Now it costed an Audi R8. Clearly, the NRM is still traded off for cheap. Peace.

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Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine statement on the Second Passing of the Mobile Money Tax (02.10.2018)

Today I attended Parliament after some time, for the sole purpose of making our voice heard on the mobile money tax. The government has deliberately avoided a discussion on the social media tax!

Majority of the NRM Members of Parliament voted to maintain the mobile money tax. 164 MPs voted in favor of the tax while 124 of us voted to have it scrapped. I know that we are all disappointed but not surprised.

Once again, a majority of our elected representatives ignored the cries and pleas of the common person. I have made it clear to my colleagues that we must learn to side with the people or the people will despair. They cannot continue to further oppress the already oppressed citizens of this country.

I must appreciate all colleague MPs who voted for the removal of the tax. Special thanks to the many NRM MPs who defied the intimidation and voted with the people. From experience, we know that they will be persecuted for taking a contrary stand. But I know that the reward for doing what is right always outweighs any form of persecution.

Ultimately, all these things emphasise what I have been saying- our redemption will not come from anywhere else. It will come from us. We only need to realise that all power lies with us. If our own MPs, elected by us, cannot listen to us on anything, including redeeming us from exploitative taxes, then we must realise that WE ARE ON OUR OWN and work each day to liberate ourselves. No one else will do. Teli kuzikiza.

Uganda: The Excise Duty (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2018

Pre Mobile Money Tax: BOU registered significant growth in FY2017/18!

Today, there is a new vote and amendment of the Mobile Money in the Parliament. They voted like blind drones in the last go-around and most likely to do the same. With a little flair and jippo, hoping the hungry hippo isn’t mad. However, the reality remained, that a growing market, a market where the revenue and natural growth could have resided. The National Resistance Movement and their President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, went in like bulldozer. Hoping it wouldn’t destroy it, but actually gain. It is foolish, but that is how they act.

That is why it is special to read again, what where there, but what is now hurt:

“Mobile money services continued to register significant growth in the year ended June 2018. The number of mobile money transactions increased to 1.3 trillion for the year to June 2018 from 1.1 trillion transactions in the prior year. The corresponding value of mobile money transactions increased to UGX 73.1 trillion from UGX 52.8 trillion in the previous year. However, the number of registered mobile money users decreased from 22.8 million in June 2017 to 22.7 million as at end of June 2018, largely attributed to the deregistration of mobile money accounts whose users had not submitted the requisite KYC credentials to maintain their registration status. Growth of mobile money activity has significantly benefited from diversified usage beyond the initial remittances, airtime purchases and bills payments. New developments such as bank account to mobile money wallet and vice versa, have significantly changed the conduct of banking business and increased convenience of access to banking services. In addition, customers are now also able to save and borrow through their mobile money accounts which has positive knock-on effects to financial intermediation in general” (Bank of Uganda Annual Report 2017/2018).

We know post- June 2018, that the landscape has changed. Even mere month after the Mobile Money tax, the usage went down and the companies we’re sending red-signals to the authorities. The added revenue stream to government, didn’t met up to par or the levels anticipated, as people changed their pattern and usage of money. Because, who want to pay double or triple tax for sending money? Than, they rather hire a boda to drive the money from town to town. It can even be cheaper, than paying the Uganda Revenue Authority or the MTN for their services.

Clearly, this little snippet of the report from the Bank of Uganda, should show the Members of Parliament, the importance of Mobile Money. Which, they had no trouble with interfering in and also possibly hurt. This are for the ones that cannot afford ordinary banking services or for the ones, in the villages that are too far away to even register their cash there. They should matter to the MPs, but they didn’t before, as they took this informal banking services through the Cellphone providers and added more pain. Instead of finding ways to grow it and expand. So more people could benefit from the new money unleashed on the market this way. Peace.

MTN Uganda and Mastercard diversify Mobile Money services in Uganda (25.09.2018)

Through this partnership, MTN MoMo customers will use a virtual card to shop or make payments at the vast network of global outlets accepting Mastercard payments.

KAMPALA, Uganda, September 25, 2018 – MTN Uganda (MTN.co.ug) in partnership with Mastercard (Mastercard.com) and United Bank for Africa (UBA) (UBAGroup.com) have announced a new service that will enable quicker, safer and more convenient online payments globally.  Through this partnership, MTN MoMo customers will use a virtual card to shop or make payments at the vast network of global outlets accepting Mastercard payments.

The launch of the virtual card that is known as MTN MoMocard will ensure MTN’s ability to provide its customers access to products and services previously a preserve of physical credit card holders while diversifying its mobile money portfolio. Additionally, the partnership will result in a wide range of cutting-edge digital payment solutions being introduced in Uganda.

“MTN MoMo is helping to connect more Ugandans to new forms of commerce,” said Wim Vanhelleputte, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Uganda. “Our affordable mobile financial services are positively impacting communities and lifestyles in Uganda. This is evidenced by the phenomenal growth in both the number of customers and volume of transactions over the years,” he added.

Like a debit card that is linked to a bank account, the MTN MoMocard is linked to a customer’s MTN MoMo account but is accessible on any type of mobile phone. All a customer has to do is dial 165*70# and follow the instructions.

The MTN MoMocard can be used on any merchant platform that accepts Mastercard – locally and globally. Consumers that travel frequently for business or leisure, or those that shop online will enjoy the convenience of the easy-to-use solution.

Ngozi Megwa, Vice President Market Development, Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard said, “Besides the ability to connect more consumers to a solution that enables them to pay without cash, the virtual card also supports the growth of e-commerce in Africa and supports businesses who want to appeal to a wider audience. Digital payments is shaping commerce, the backbone of any economy. We are excited about the MTN partnership and its ability to connect us with an audience hungry for innovation.”

The MTN MoMocard is powered by United Bank for Africa, which facilitates the payment transactions online, both locally and internationally.

“UBA is excited to be the bank partner with Mastercard and MTN on this milestone project that not only enhances convenience for mobile money customers but also the utility of the service. The bank recognises the role of technology in enhancing financial services delivery and welcomes future similar partnerships,” said Johnson Agoreyo, the UBA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.

The 200 Shillings of Doom: Millionaire MPs complain about possibly paying 400 shillings daily for OTT Access!

It is a disgrace, the best paid representatives with all sorts of benefits, even not even taxed for their salaries, these Members of the Parliament (MPs). That these MPS are complaining about the OTT Tax. These MPs who are earning approximately earning about 26,000,000 Ugandan Shillings ($6,852) monthly. MPs are complaining that they have pay 400 shillings a daily. Because they have to pay OTT on their personal Cellphone and also on their Ipads. So lets say a month is 30 days we add that with 400 shillings (Ipad + Cellphone) that is total 12,000 shillings ($ 3.1). That is why it is insulting, that ones earning giant fortunes are complaining about paying possible for one more gadget. This is a tax they enacted in Parliament not long ago. They should have the courage and the funds to pay this sums, but seemingly that is too much for them. How about the people then, who doesn’t earns millions of shillings a month?

Parliament has clarified that members of parliament can access free Social Media services on their IPADs only when transacting parliament business. The Principal information officer at Parliament Moses Bwalatum, says according to the contract signed between Parliament and the Ipad Service providers, legislators can only use them for the legislative roles unless the contract are reviewed. This means that legislators have to pay OTT tax on their personal phone to access the other social media platforms” (NBS Television, 14.09.2018).

They should be capable to spend these meager sums of money. As the MPs should be able to pay 3 US Dollars a month for the OTT on both Cellphone and Ipad, as they are earning close to 6800 US Dollars. It is insane, that they whose earning such fortunes in a country, where civil servants aren’t earning that much. They are high-ranking and huge salaries which should cover everything, especially another 200 shillings, which is apparently to much for these rich MPs.

That the MPs cannot manage to spend a total of 3 dollars a month on OTT Taxes are insane, when they are earning over 6000 dollars a month, are they that lavish on their side-dishes, that they cannot mange to pay this? But they said the ordinary citizens and that this would not discriminate people, as this was a luxury. Is this now a luxury that the millionaire MPs cannot manage?

Are 400 shillings a day to much to ask for the ones who are already tax-exempt on their salary? Are you that greedy? 

Seriously, the MPs who enacted the OTT Tax should be able to pay for it, just like everyone else. They are having a giant salaries, housing, cars and whatnots covered. They are surely able to do this, but are stubborn and greedy, as sleazy salesmen, they expect to be…

They are certainly not showing confidence, but a more a mockery of the people. Since they have wealth and the general public doesn’t. Peace.

Parliament of Uganda: Clarification on OTT Tax remarks attributed to Hon. Kaps Hassan Fungaroo (14.09.2018)

Exercise Duty: Tumwebaze and BoU sends mixed messages, today!

Today, it was striking that the government really hitting a home-run in double messaging. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) started from 1st July 2018 to tax all parts of the transactions with Mobile Money Tax. This is receiving, sending and also uploading the funds. That is why these funds have been tripled taxed with the other taxes that is already put on the transactions like PAYE and VAT.

That is why the Honorable Tumwebaze words seems fitting to post on the Mobile Money Tax, as this is discriminating people and making sure they cannot use the technology or digital way of paying bills and such. However, he don’t want people to resist it. How fitting, when the state have made it to expensive for people to be part of the modern world and have to use old methods to pay their relatives and companies, making sure day to day transactions becomes more costly.

Frank Tumwebaze statement:

Continuous technological advancement will further lead to other digital migrations in the way we conduct business. Let us embrace these technology advancements and not resist. If you resist technology it will disrupt” (New Vision, 2018)

BoU report on the tax after a month:

The 0.5 per cent tax on Mobile Money is discriminative and is likely to affect financial inclusion, officials from Bank of Uganda have said. The officials said this while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on finance on Wednesday to give their views about mobile money tax. The officials, who also appeared before the committee alongside their counterparts from telecom companies, said mobile money transactions declined by 672bn shillings in the first two weeks of implementing the mobile money tax” (Tusingwire, 2018).

I am not surprised that the Mobile Money Market is hit and hard. Even if one percentage of tax doesn’t sound much. However, when you had put in on all parts of the transaction plus the other added taxes, the total cost of a transaction is huge. It is eating a lot of the plate for the same services, which has been provided for ages. There are already costs of the transactions to the companies, therefore the public have shunned and also stopped using it. Many even felt they couldn’t afford the usage of it.

That was to be expected. However, the Minister Tumwebaze have made the people resist moving to digital migration, move into the modern day transactions of money and such. That with the Exercise Duty, which was enforced two months ago.

The NRM cannot talk of people embracing technology, when they themselves making people resist or to expensive to use. Maybe, they have to figure out better ways of taxing people. If they want to be fair, because now even the National Bank of Bank of Uganda is saying it is discriminating. That should worry the Minister, but he is just using fashionable words. So he clearly don’t care. Peace.

Reference:

Tusingwire, Serestino – ‘Mobile Money tax discriminative – BoU’ 01.08.2018 link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Mobile-Money-tax-discriminative-BoU/688334-4692428-137ocmdz/index.html

New Vision – ‘Let us embrace technology advancements’ 01.08.2018 link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1482566/us-embrace-technology-advancements

NRM Caucus Reportedly Plans to revise Exercise Duty tomorrow on Mobile Money, but not on Social Media!

Earlier in the day suddenly without any forewarning, the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah sent at the message of postponement of the plenary session from today the 18th July 2018 unto the 19th July 2018. This was not expected, but the 10th Parliament haven’t been business as usual.

The reason came later, as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Caucus suddenly was summoned to the State House today. This is all of the NRM Members of Parliament, which means the majority of the parliament. As the oppositions and independents are a minority. All of these MPs spent the whole day at the State House. Surely, they we’re made sure to follow the President line on the matter.

This was a meeting on the revision of the newly Exercise Duty, which was put into effect on the 1st July 2018. NTV Uganda reported: “Its expected that the caucus will support the cabinet decision of 0.5% tax on withdrawals, the same position they will support on the floor of parliament” (NTV Uganda, 18.07.2018). NBS TV reported: “According to the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa, the meeting is intended to reconcile the caucus position on the two taxes. However, some of the NRM legislators who voted against the age limit bill have been blocked from attending the meeting” (NBS Television, 18.07.2018).

The ones not allowed to attend with his royal highness, as they have already proven dissenting voices last year, are these NRM MPs: James Acidiri, Monica Amoding, Norah Bigirwa, Johnson Muyanja Senyonga, Everlyn Chemutai, Hellen Kahunde, Justine Khainza, Gaffa Mbwatekamwa and Henry Kibalya. So these we’re barred from entering the NRM Caucus today. That proves the ironies of the NRM.

The Resistance Movement, has issues with rebels, even as the Movement was forged out of a rebellion. The 1986s of the world is a rare breed. Musevenism must be the most head-up-in-the-ass and lack of soul-searching.

So, if these people doesn’t follow party line tomorrow, everyone should understand. Therefore, the expectation is that the NRM are voting for only one of the third taxes on the Mobile Money. That being only 0,5% on Withdrawal, take away the 1% on receiving, transactions and withdrawals, which it is today. However, there is no change with the Social Media Tax or the OTT Tax of 200 shillings per day. The NRM has no plan of scratching that, they just want to weaken the blow on the consumer and users of the transactions of the money through the Mobile Service.

We can really see, how foolish the NRM Party have become and they all have to bow down for the majesty at the State House. Museveni have to get them in accord.

If the NRM things this was a smooth way… they are wrong, if the NRM things this a way of proving force; They are all wrong. The NRM deserves no credit, they pursuit the taxes on demand by the majesty, they levied it and didn’t due diligence on the taxes either. They we’re just following the possible revenue streams without thinking consequences. The NRM will sell this as a victory, but really it is poor performance. From a ruling regime and ruling party, that is rotten to its core.

If there was any party understanding rebels, this is one of them and they don’t, they are just blindly following Museveni and doing it without consideration of the implications doing so. It makes them look foolish. Peace.

Social Media Tax: Hon. Tumwebaze speaks of the citizens like they are all loaded!

If you are committed Ugandan who really wants services from you government why are you motivated and proud with your head high to contribute money 30 times OTT tax to the Innovator of VPN” Frank Tumwebaze

Today, The Minister of ICT &National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze spoke his heart out in defense of the Social Media Tax. Just as the first quote. Shows how he will defend the state massive breach of freedom of speech, with the 200 shillings a day for Social Media Tax. That the National Resistance Movement (NRM) calls OTT or Over The Top Services. They are continuing their assault on the use of phone, like it is a luxury and not a way of communications. Non of the times, they are explaining why the citizens are taxed, but not the companies.

When Ministry of Finance is borrowing, we, the Parliament and civil society are grilling them for borrowing. But when we say this is a sector that has grown in the economy so let’s get a bit of it, let’s get Shs. 6,000 from every holder of a smartphone consuming OTTs, what production capacity will it stifle?” (Frank Tumwebaze, 17.07.2018)

Well, when you live on less then a dollar then a day, than your already struggling in life and many are, but this tax is taking up to 20% of the lowest civil servants or public officials, these are the low level government clerks and teachers. They are using one fifth of their salary on this tax on the top of the use of paying taxes for using the phone, as the air-time is taxed, the phone is and the income of the salary is too. So it is not like the person didn’t pay for anything before opening Facebook or WhatsApp. That is just a non-story.

Let me say what it will stifle, the conversation and the opportunity to get the information online, as the most is spread through social media. The media houses, the government and the rest is informing through these platforms to the public. If you want to know something, you go into the Social Media and read the information there. This also close out the poorest from addressing their vocal needs online and even maybe make it too expensive to use apps to configure trade of crops or even tips for using their plots. Not that is considered, because everyone can afford to fork out money like drunk MPs, right?

Is USD 1,4 too much for a citizen to contribute to tax yet you have money to buy a smartphone, minimumly at Shs. 300,000 that is data enabled, and you load bundles of over shs. 30,000? Logically it doesn’t make sense” (Frank Tumwebaze, 17.07.2018).

If this was only true, if the part of the big majority who is under poverty-line or struggling to get salaries, they cannot afford this. They will be silenced. Many are buying knock-off B-Products of Cellphones, which cost a fraction of what the Minister propose. It is a very selected few who owns the newest Iphone, there are more lackluster Samsung and Nokia out there. The ones with the simple smartphone systems. So that the minister should consider that. In the same regard, the Minister should disclose why the companies have closed and stopped the cheapest bundles and packages after 1st July 2018 as the OTTs Tax came into affect?

However, that is not a big deal for him. He thinks everyone has his salary and has capacity to pay out of their ass in double or triple tax on the same service, as they are doing in this. Still, putting it all on the citizen and still not on the corporation. What has the Telecoms done to beat the ass of the government? Since the argument is never to tax the corporations who are earning on these services, but always on the citizens?

The final rebuttal from me today, for the fist question about VPN. It is very simple why people use VPN. Because this government spend revenue and donations like there is no tomorrow on wastage of cronyism, corruption and on the President. It doesn’t deliver services, but feed the royal court of Museveni. Therefore, they rather pay a random stranger, than feeding the monster at the State House. This is their reaction to the unhealthy activity of the state, also the unfair double taxation. If they didn’t pay VAT and other taxes on the Air-Time or Data-Bundle, it would be a little fair, but when you already do that and has a second pay wall. Than you know that the issues of stupidity deserves to be counter with defiance. Peace.

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