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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
“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.
“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.