#ThisTaxMustGo: Bobi Wine wanted by the Authorities after Demos earlier in the day!

The ironies of all of this, is that isn’t very special, as the Kampala Metropolitan Police are now looking for the Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi. Who was part of the leadership who held a demonstration in Central Business District of Kampala. Clearly, the Authorities hadn’t accepted this, as they themselves put violence into it, they shot tear-gas, live bullets and dispersed the public. He escaped himself and was able to get to the Parliament. Certainly this is not the end.

As the Chimp Reports reports later:

Kampala Police are set to issue summons against Kyadondo East Constituency Member of Parliament (MP), Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine for inciting violence and holding unlawful processions. Bobi Wine this morning led a team of protesters who marched from down town Kampala toward the City square. These, carrying banners were protesting the new social media and mobile money taxes” (Nixon Segawa – ‘MP Bobi Wine Wanted By Police Over Social Media Tax Demo’ 11.07.2018).

This here is continuing the methods of Kayihura and his ways. As they are using the Public Order Management Act (POMA) and use of the Penal Code to apprehend him to the Police Force within time. As the MP humiliated the Kampala Metropolitan, even as this would most likely not gotten the permit to demonstrate on it. IGP Okoth-Ochola has no quarrel using the same techniques to silence the voice of the people.

Bobi Wine is just showing way and doing what the other opposition leaders have done. As they campaign for cause and gain publicity for it. This here is a sign of will and how quickly he can get people behind him. That the MP could get as much and be able to organize this, even use the Social Media to get people to demonstrate. Shows the power of the people. Not that it changed much on the ground today, but shows the same-old, same old.

There are even arrests of other activists and demonstrators, which is held at the Kampala Central Police Station, while what they are arrested for is not clear yet. However, the police has taken them to custody in the manner, which they are known for. They are initiating violence and use weapons on the defenseless, the citizens who demonstrate for a good cause, one that are depleting their bank-accounts, double or triple taxation of the same services.

Still, the culprits of the violence walks, while the leaders of the demonstrations are demonized and arrested.

This seems like yet another day in opposite day. Where the rule of law is acting as vile criminals, while the public is deemed criminal for voicing their discomfort. It is surreal, but ordinary by the standards of the Police Force.

Bobi Wine is just a man, but a man of principal and fierce, he is young and vibrant. Everything this rulers of the land isn’t today. The NRM have forgotten why the exists. They have forgotten what their visions and their orthodoxy was in 1980s. Because Bobi Wine is speaking the same 32 years later.

It is tragic, but that is the way it is. Peace.

MTN Uganda Limited letter to ED Mutabazi of UCC: “Re: Trespass Into MTN Data Center and Disconnection of Servers” (03.07.2018)

Public Official’s Greed has been revised!

We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.”Martin Luther King Jr.

The Public Officials and Appointed Personnel in the Republic has gotten new rates and allowances for their duties. This was sent by the Permanent Secretary Catherine Birarakwate Musingwiire on the 26th June 2018. This is from a circular noted to the Ministry of Public Service. These rates are effective from the 1st July 2018, this was the same time as the new Excise Duty came into affect, therefore, the high ranking officials was covered themselves from the matters at hand. I am just showing two of them, there are plenty more, but it gives you a feeling of the greedy guts.

For the Safari-Day Allowance for all public leaders it went up a 100%, that is for when a public officials or political leaders are traveling at least for 6 hours during the day. To cover expenses for food and other needs for the travel. An RDC for instance goes from getting 13,000 shillings that day in question to the humble sum of 120,000 shillings. A Minister or State Minister goes from 18,000 shillings to the noble sum of 150,000 shillings. The Prime Minister goes from 20,000 to 160,000 shillings. The VP goes from 21,000 to 165,000 shillings.

The Mobile Telephone Allowance for certain public officials. Permanent Secretaries goes from 150,000 to the 210,000 shillings. Ministers of State and Ministers goes from 180,000/200,000 to the humble sum of 252,000/280,000. The Prime Minister goes from 250,000 to the 350,000 shillings. These people are clearly not worried about the new excise duties.

This is just for two allowances and not the whole package, I have not shown the madness of traveling abroad and the cost of that for the public officials and the appointed district officials. The Safari-day and Mobile Telephone Allowances is showing enough of the madness.

The cronies are not only getting high level salaries, but added allowances to get wealthy while on duty. That is one of the perks of working in the state, and not the private business market, as the state is offering high rates on travels and other work. It must be glory days to be a part of the elite and cronies of the President. These NRM foot soldiers are waling with fat pockets, while the ordinary person is starving. Such a devastating affair. Peace.

Social Media Tax: Museveni at this point of time, where wisdom dies!

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”- Frédéric Bastiat

There are sometimes I wonder, not even a narrow escape of willingness to be humiliated or say, that you know nothing about the subject or feel that your out of your bounds. However, that is never the case for this President, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is defending the Mobile Money Tax and Social Media Tax. Like it is the gift of heaven. I have taken the two most notable quotes, because it really shows his intent. He really wants to silence people and not let them communicate in the modern era. In Uganda it is time to buy beepers, send wires and hope to God the Pigeon get back on time. Because, the President says anyone speaking or enjoying himself or herself on Social is Malicious.

“Therefore, some of us, myself included, either earn the dollars or save the dollars by producing products instead of importing them, but some of our countrymen donate those dollars back to the foreigners by chatting endlessly on the social media. Is this correct or fair? Is it good for our country? Mobile money transfer is, of course, different from the social media chatting. Social media chatting is a luxury by those who are enjoying themselves or those who are malicious” (Museveni, 2018).

That he calls that a luxury now is insulting, as this is means of communicating in the 21st Century. Maybe, just maybe, it is time for him to rear his cows and leave the seat for someone else. Because, this is just too foolish. If he thinks he has a sound mind and clear assessment, this isn’t it.

If he wants things to the public, if he want good credit and use of public space in this era. You use social media to gain attention. That is why even the most notable figures are on Social Media realising their content online. That is why the TV stations are on Youtube and other place, to gain interests and show their style to the world. If that is malicious, maybe, he himself should shut-up, as he has no trouble calling people our as vermin and insects. That is the insulting part, he has the mouth of degraded farmer and not a statesman. So it is not like the President himself carries no MALICE!

“As to social- media tax, all the moral reasons are in favour of that tax. The social – media users have no right to squander the dollars I earn from my coffee , my milk etc by endlessly donating money to foreign telephone Companies through chatting or even lying and, then, they are allergic to even a modest contribution to their country whose collective wealth they are misusing” (Musveni, 2018).

Moral reasons? Not just merely getting more funds to spoil yourself and your kind? Really? That is the reason, the reason for the new taxes, so that the State House can spend more and use more of the wealth on foreign travels, expensive food and whatnot. A state that indulge the MPs and State Officials, mushrooms the cronyism, not to forget the corrupt behaviour of high-ranking officials. All of these will get a cut of these taxes. It is not like it will go to roads or hospitals. They are depleted as they is and the MPs are getting more perks and bigger houses by the day. So don’t speak of your coffee and milk, your milking the system so hard, if it was a cow. The cow wouldn’t be breathing because of the pressure to produce more milk in time.

It is your state that has given the Foreign Companies license to have Telecommunications, and they are offering these services. Your are already taxing the airtime and data-bundles, the profits and the other VAT and such. So it is not like the consumers aren’t paying taxes on the spending on the Cellphones and the services included. However, you are not targeting the Telecoms, but your targeting the people. You have the same excuse as Minister for ICT. I understand that stupid arguments runs from the top in this government. It is very visible. The paywall is for the consumer and not for the company. That is what this tax is doing; it is shielding the consumer from using, unless they pay the tax.

What sort of moral obligation does the consumer who pays all the taxes for the services to be taxed double, because the state doesn’t have the heart or the ability to tax the Telecoms properly? Aye? Tell me, please? Your royal highness?

It is time to get out of your village mentality and get back to real world. Apparently, no one has had the ability to tell you so. Nevertheless, if you would consider, the Social Media would be a good tool to get tourist, even get more foreign investors to grab land. So that you can take the benefits and the land from the people, as you usually do. They can see the beautiful hunting grounds or fertile land, and you can give it away, because people are posting the scenery and nature of Uganda. However, that will be pointless and costly now, because of you. That will only be for the ones with key interests of doing so. Peace.

Reference:

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘Why government is taxing social media – Museveni’ (04.07.2018)

URA: Excise Duty Amendments for Telecommunications for FY 2018/2019 (04.07.2018)

Social Media Tax: Tumwebaze flawed argument for it!

There are sometimes you wished the government did their due diligence, even though it true, before levying taxes like the Social Media Tax. That can now be questioned and that with force as well, becasuse the Minister for ICT Frank Tumwebaze tried to defend the new taxes, but it is seriously flawed. First I let him argue and defend, before I address the matter.

“While Ugandans rightly argue that government should be taxing OTTs such as Facebook, the Minister noted that these ignore the applicability of this. “Internet Service Providers such as MTN and Airtel are licensed by UCC; they pay taxes and have invested heavily in building networks. But OTTS come and freely push content here using the existing networks; they contribute nothing to the building of the networks; they just get their money and go away,” he explained. “The debate therefore should be on how to capture OTTS to contribute to expanding of local networks and sustaining them.” “Even if government targeted Facebook, and said we are going to block the Facebook gateway if they don’t pay to URA; the same (public) uproar will come because we are blocking social media.” (Waswa, 2018).

They are literally blocking the Social Media as of today. That with a paywall through the existing Mobile Networks to access Social Media. Therefore, he is letting the people take the burden and not the companies. He talks about the content and service delivery, but the ones hurt is the people. The users/citizens use the Social Media who pays the OTT Tax. The tax is not on the Social Media Companies nor the Telecom Companies; that is just the fact and should be a concern for the minister.

Therefore, even with the tax at hand, the public is paying the taxman, not the ones putting forward the products through the Mobile Networks or Online. That is why the argument of Tumwebaze is flawed. He is missing one key ingredient, and that should be stated. It is not the companies that are paying these levied taxes, it is the users or the citizens themselves. That means, whatever the companies does, they are shielded, because they are not directly paying the levied tax.

The honourable Minister is losing on two grounds:

By putting up a paywall, he is blocking the ones that cannot afford to communicate through the Social Media.

Secondly, he is by definition not taxing the companies, but the users of these companies.

Therefore, he should go back to the drawing board and find other crayons, because the colouring of the Picture, he is doing right now is to be a bit blunt, ugly. Peace.

Reference:

Waswa, Sam – ‘Tumwebaze Explains Social Media Predicament: ‘There’s No Way of Taxing OTT Companies’ (04.07.2018) link: https://chimpreports.com/tumwebaze-explains-social-media-predicament-theres-no-way-of-taxing-ott-companies/

ICTAU: Public Statement on OTT & Mobile Money Taxes (04.07.2018)

Uganda: National Youth Congress – Press Release No. 1. of 2018 (03.07.2018)

The Point of No Return: Mutabazi says it’s a “Good Tax”!

“We have been complaining that we are loosing money. This decision by government is the right decision.” Godrfey Mutabazi, Chairman of Ugandan Communications Commission (UCC).

There are certain individuals, who begs no favours and don’t stop pursuing the roads of torn flesh. Certainly, these men are so well endowed and has fat pockets, that these measures doesn’t sting, but the lowest class, the unemployed and the gig-economy is not upholding the levels of taxation that is put on the public. Not that the Members of Parliament cares about the poor, unless they need donor aid or have a project to finance. Than, they are needed pawns, but right now they can eat the spoils of the poor and their willingness to communicate.

The modern communication are now attacked by these men, through the willingness of taxation. They are beating people for being online and using mobile money. They are really making sure they have to adjust and secure funds other way. The poorest will spend massive parts of salaries, if they are on social media or even if they using mobile money, not only the fees the Telecoms already take, but also the new transactions taxes, which, is taking in cash when sending, receiving and even putting in. The state is getting added funds on all steps of the way. It isn’t a one time only measure, no, they are getting tax for the trade of air-time and data-bundles, they are getting tax for going on social media and also on the transfer of cash.

How can this be good? Does the government and UCC want to disenfranchise even a bigger part of the community? Even in districts and Sub-Counties with no banks or close affiliates, where the relatives in Kampala can remit/transfer cash too, without paying for the nut, the bolt and the tool itself. That is what they will be doing now. If they are calling through WhatsApp and Viber, they will be taxed extra, not only for the airtime and data-bundle, but the direct usage. How is that any good?

Mutabazi is a ignorant rich hussy, who doesn’t understand the plight of the common man, the men and woman who are barely making ends meet. He want to insult to injury and make sure their money is less worth, as they are now taxed for transferring it and also for their communications itself. This is how to exclude people through monetary means. These things aren’t just used by the elites, these are things used by all and are common placed.

Maybe the state should tax rain-water, jerry-can water-rigging and create a clean-air act, so the people have to taxed extra for the air-filters in the luxurious homes of Bugolobi or Mbuya. As the wealth there can handle this mess, but the hawkers, the idly are the ones hit by this. They are shut out of the communication and are the ones who is left with less.

So, it is hard to say anything else. That the state really doesn’t give a crap about them. They are just sponging of them. The UCC is really demeaning the lowest classes, they are even planning to tax the VPN. There isn’t anything they are doing to silence people.

This is the point of no return. They have no scruples. They have no heart, only eating of the poor and at any cost. Using all excuses, while they are now stopped or even soon shielded from Social Media, through a payment-wall, the rich can do everything and be as ignorant of plight of men as ever before. Certainly, the UCC doesn’t give fig. that is proven now. Peace.

Social Media Tax: The Breakdown of the Key Statements from the Hansard of 30th May 2018!

Joshua Anywarach:

Mr Speaker, for heaven’s sake, anywhere in the world – if anything can be cheaper and spur economic development, it is communication (Hansard, 30.05.2018).

This is weird, but not surprising, it is striking that these quotes has not been in the spotlight more. As the Exercise Duty, which was passed on the 30th May 2018. This after just two barely months of digging into the costs, added revenue and even making it possible. This was a hasted taxes of the public. Where the added costs was not put in perspective. There was talk about the poor and the regions without banks, but not like the National Resistance Movement (NRM) cares, because you don’t have to use Mobile Money, you can send the money by donkeys for free. However, the Western Union isn’t having the donkey express anymore, even the NRM will go back-to-future with these taxes. Making sure the Social Media is silenced and costing even more for people to be involved online.

Silas Aogon, who was against said this:

Mr Chairperson, without the bundles that we buy, we cannot access WhatsApp. I know that very well. You have got to have mobile money and then you can use it to buy Megabytes (MBs) before you can access WhatsApp. How do you tax what has already been taxed? That is the issue. If you doubt what we are saying, let us then do some practicals here and then you will see” (Hansard, 30.05.2018).

That is just barely the ones speaking against Social Media Tax before the passing of the bill. However, there was more NRM MPs, who was defending it. These should be remembered, because they are silencing the poorest, because of revenue and because of their reckless spending on themselves. They added perks and salaries, are paid by the hardships of people, who will be doubled taxed, not only on airtime and data-bundles, but now for using social media too. This because the state doesn’t care.

James Kakooza said:

This tax is optional; if you want you pay, if you don’t want you don’t pay. (Applause) That is what is under the law. That is the information I wanted to give” (Hansard, 30.05.2018).

It maybe partly optional, but people are used to WhatsApp, Facebook and other Apps for communications. Therefore, it isn’t that optional, except for the ones who are advanced age, like the President himself. Maybe Kakooza should delete his social media profiles and try to be optional outside of the online world.

David Bhati said:

If you are using WhatsApp or Viber, the Shs 200 which we are proposing here will actually translate to Shs 70,000 per year. That is what we are talking about. It is Shs 70,000 the entire year –(Interjections)– You are making a contribution of Shs 70,000 for the whole year; can you imagine! It is as simple as that” (Hansard, 30.05.2018).

It isn’t like your jumping in once and never again. Its very few who just are one day inside a social network or part of group talking on WhatsApp or Viber. They are there daily, because if your wanting to get information or be in communications with friends. You do it daily. Therefore, if your part of social interactions online, this is really just making sure the youths, ordinary people are taxed for interacting online. Soon, Bhati will send birds with messages and I am not talking Twitter. I am awaiting that. Since he can choose that without paying tax himself.

Robert Kasule Sebunya said:

We have a dilemma as technology is changing every day. People are no longer using the normal calls that Government has been taxing. Excise duty of 12 per cent has been paid per normal call. Now because technology is turning into voice messaging, WhatsApp calls and others, we are losing revenue. Even institutions are losing money on normal calls because people are changing as technology changes” (Hansard, 30.05.2018).

That the public has decided to call through the data-bundles are still taxed VAT and Income Tax, the Telecommunication Companies are taxed and so is the income of the agents selling the airtime and the data-bundles. Therefore, if anyone would call on WhatsApp or Viber, they are already paying tax. Now they just have a second wall of payment and securing the state, both for the nut and bolt, but also using the tool itself. So, he defends double taxation. Kudos!

Otto Odonga said:

I did economics at the university, mind you. (Laughter) WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook are ostentatious commodities. They are almost like perfume. The ordinary man in the village can do without it. (Applause) We are looking for a certain category of people who do not mind about the Shs 200. Personally, I do not mind because I need WhatsApp. It is a tax, which is targeting the elites – those who are ostentatious. It does not affect the ordinary man in Pader. That is the information I wanted to give” (Hansard, 30.05.2018).

You have so ancient relics, someone who is falling behind in times. I hope Mr. Otto is not on any Social Media, because his defense is a disgrace in 2018. That it is an extra service. It is true it is not like water and food, or even basic education. However, this is the way people communicate and have moved forwards too. That is why activists have groups on WhatsApp and Facebook, it is like the MP thinks it is only for Kololo and other high-rising neighborhoods in and around Kampala.

This is the look over the Hansard from 30th May 2018. That shows how some of the MPs thinks, this was only about the Social Media Tax, not the Mobile Money Tax or the Cooking Oil. Hope someone else dig into that. That would also deserve criticisms. Because the NRM is really using all tactics to defend the need for revenue, without seeing how they are misusing funds and also the grand-corruption that these funds are going too. Peace.