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Archive for the tag “Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile”

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.

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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.

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

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.

UCC: Public Notice of UCC Ban on Scratch/Airtime Cards (12.07.2018)

Social Media Tax: PM Rugunda does a back-flip – Due diligence after levying it!

There are days, when you wonder if these people are sincere or real? I wonder if the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the whole organization and the Members of Parliament (MPs) ever thought their acts would have impact on society? They were just thinking it was rubber-stamping another budget and another relief for the deficit without concern of how it would impact the public. That can be put into question, after reading the statement made by the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at the Parliament earlier today.

Rt.Hon.Speaker and Hon.Colleagues, since the Act came into force on 1st July 2018; Government has noted public concerns regarding some of the elements in implementation of especially tax on mobile money transactions and OTT. H.E. the President has provided guidance on the matter and encouraged further discussion with a view to reaching consensus on how we should raise the much needed revenue to finance our budget and undertake the development agenda we have set for ourselves without causing unbearable burden to the citizens. Rt.Hon.Speaker and Hon.Colleagues, Government is now reviewing the taxes taking into consideration the concerns of the public and its implications on the budget” (Ruhakana Rugunda, 2018).

What this is evident known, that the state wasn’t ready for the impact it would have on the public. The public outcry and also the unfairness of these taxes. The phones are paid VAT, Income Tax of the Companies and now the Exercise Duty on it, therefore, double taxation when going in on Social Media, and triple when transmitting money through the Mobile Money Service.

What the PM is saying at the end is that they are starting to review the taxes, that should have been done in the first report delivered to the Parliament, as the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, should have shown the problems. They only was focused on the possible revenue, because of the status of revenue made by the Telecommunication Companies. Instead, of looking into the costs it would be put on the consumers and citizens. They we’re totally focused on the revenue to the state to fix the deficit.

That the state wants to review it now. They should have done it this way, as the whole thing started with letter written from the President and sent to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija on the 12th March 2018. Ordering to look into OTT and Social Media Taxes. In the midst of that, there was written a report and around 30th May 2018, the taxes was passed and got enacted, as the taxes started this 1st July 2018. It has been effective for only 10 days, but already shows all the flaws and fallacies in it.

It is like the NRM and the President, thought this would be a smooth ride of double and triple taxation. Where the excuse all along is that the Telecoms are eating the money and the development, the state has put into the industry, however, if that is the case, why don’t the state tax the companies more? Because now they are taxing the public into ridiculous levels.

So, the state is going circles, but instead of doing due diligence before enacting and levying the taxes. They are doing it after the fact, they are doing after the cat is out of the bag. The people see the ugly monster now, it isn’t an urban legend. It is real and they have no issues bleeding and destroying the economy on simple taxation. They are making it more expensive to pay bills and utilities. They are making it less viable to spread information and be part of a conversation. Because it is to costly to big chunks of the public. That is proven with the level of taxes put on each head passing into the digital atmosphere.

The PM have forgotten his role, as a Representative, but that what happens when you were the crown and forget the people. They are talking about reviewing it now. That should have been done long before it was tabled in the Parliament for voting and gotten passed in the plenary session in May 2018.

The report delivered should have enlisted the costs and the burdens, it should have been sincere, a document which numbers crunchers could have tested and seen if they were manipulated. Now, the reality is that the government didn’t collect the cost on each individual, neither the loss of certain low-level data-bundles and air-time packages. As they we’re abolished because of the added costs of taxes baked into the packages.

That is what the PM doesn’t even discuss or care. It is hard to believe that the state will seriously review it now, they will be busy bodies counting the shillings and add-ons to the state. I have little faith that they will looking into the lost meat boiled of the bone. They will not look after the wounded or the hurt from this.

They are might getting added revenue at the present by this, but they are also destroying a growing industry, that they could have taxed wiser and found ways to earn more revenue through. Instead, they are punishing the citizens for using digital ways instead of showing up in bank sending money there. Peace.

Reference:

Ruhakana Rugunda – ‘Statement to Parliament by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister on the recently introduced taxes on Mobile Money transactions and Over The Top (OTT) services’ 11.07.2018 link: https://ugandamediacentreblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/statement-to-parliament-by-the-rt-hon-prime-minister-on-the-recently-introduced-taxes-on-mobile-money-transactions-and-over-the-top-ott-services/

#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)

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