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Archive for the tag “Republic of Uganda”

Opinion: OTT Tax on Data Bundles is like a dual-VAT

“URA Commissioner General Doris Akol told the Finance Committee of Parliament chaired by Henry Musasizi that the controversial OTT Tax will be charged directly on data instead of mobile money to curb the evasion” (NBS Television, 14.01.2020).

I wonder if Doris Akol has thought this through or is winging it? As she see the losses and lack of results, revenue or tax base with the 200 shillings of doom. The whole OTT Tax is to expensive for the public daily. Now, she wants to move it and indirectly tax it instead.

Surely, they will get revenue, but this will make it more expensive to buy data-bundles for the customers and make the packages more viable. VPN and similar networks to circumvent the usage and payments of the daily OTT Tax have beaten the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). That is why URA does this now.

It is a sign of defiance and civil disobedience. They are trying to patch the hurt. But will this succeed? Will more try to only load data through Wi-Fi networks and wireless networks in general. Not load so much data on the go. Because, people are smart and tries to undercut extra taxes. Especially, when on the data is already paid VAT and the Mobile Company pay their taxes on the profits too.

Therefore, URA and Akol seems fishing. They will raise revenue, but also make the data bundles more expensive and with that stop plenty of people from buying bigger data bundles for surfing online on your smart-phone.

That is just the mere reality. It is a sign, yet again that the OTT is a failed project, who didn’t hit the targets and wasn’t measured right. If it was, the aim and the bargain wouldn’t be like this. That is not happening.

This method is a clever way of adding the costs of data, while charging for service not necessarily used. The OTT Services, which is the reason for why these are charged. Because, the data could be used for other things and therefore, is violating its attempt to make it costly for certain usage on online.

This is again, pushing one story, pushing one tax and trying to tax the public by any means. When the hook doesn’t work, they use the crook. Instead of doing directly, they want to do it indirectly and initially in some way adding a separate VAT on data-bundles masked as OTT Tax. That is really it.

We all know this, URA verify it today. That the only things certain in life is death and taxes. Thanks Akol for reminding us. Peace.

Press Release by the Secretary to the Authority National Drug Authority: Clarification on Drugs Recalled by National Drug Authority (13.12.2019)

Opinion: RDCs getting cars isn’t governing, but a cheap trick!

The Minister for Presidency, Esther Mbayo has given out 65 cars to Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) from different regions to improve on service delivery. The RDCs who received the cars on Thursday constitute 50% of the total number of Resident District Commissioners currently deployed in the country” (Muhamad Matovu – ‘Minister Mbayo Gives 65 Cars To RDCs From Different Regions’ 22.11.2019).

There are 135 districts, which is operative in the Republic. This is November 2019. There will come more districts in 2020 and so-on. As the Republic is made into smaller and smaller units as political favours and for personal gains of the political elite. That is well-known, as well as a measure done to establish good grounds of new constituencies with no voting history ahead of any given election.

With this in mind, there is an up-coming election in 2021. It is not the first time the National Resistance Movement (NRM) run government have given cars to its officials. They are not only giving that to the MPs and the cabinet, but also anyone in association with the State House. Therefore, the State House and the Parliament should have a car-lot and a car-dealership, if they were supposed to run it smoothly and cheaper.

Because, back in 2015, the state bought 111 cars for District Chairpersons. Therefore, this sort of enterprise happens on near-regular basis. Just as the state bought cars for the CPC in Parliament in this calendar year. So, this is a business the state knows and deals with a lot.

The special thing about this, is that service deliver is important with a car. Not with a mandate or actual factual work that the RDCs do. The Residential District Commanders, the ones overseeing and oversight of the government works in the districts. This is 65 cars and in total, that is 50% of the appointed RDCs. This means there is 130 districts who has RDCs by what the Mbayo states. That means the state lacks funds, manpower and appointed leadership for 5 districts alone. Which is a rare move.

The President has the opportunity to give broader mandate, to give funds and opportunities to the RDCs to actually do more. But thinking a car would make a big difference is naive. As they have the same mandate, the same lacking structure and weak local government. Just today, the President and the state gives state officials cars, instead of building viable institutions.

The state is acting like a car dealership, not a governing institution nor following up on obligations in the districts. This is a cheap ploy for poor districts, for lacking funds and for not investing in all the created micro local-government units, which is now 135 districts and so-on. Where the RDCs and others has supervision and mandates to work. Therefore, there should be more than cars and more than a quick fix, which this is and nothing else.

To buy 65 cars will not fix the districts, it will only give for a short amount of time, mobility for some few persons in association with the RDCs. It doesn’t make the roads being built, schools being furnished nor town halls run properly. That is done over budgets, policies and actual governing being done.

To govern is an art and giving away cars isn’t building a nation, it is only cheap fix. You don’t give an alcoholic an beer, you take them to rehab and stops the availability to beer. Instead, here the state gives another beer and hope that it doesn’t catch on. Sooner or later, these cars will have a breakdown. As the cars are hit by driving miles upon miles every year.

Therefore, this isn’t it. Other than a rundown, over used idea, which isn’t scratching the surface. Peace.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Uganda’s Position on the Situation in Hong Kong (03.10.2019)

OTT Tax: Totally failed its supposed revenue targets in 2018!

Today, the Uganda Communication Commission released their annual sector performance report of July 2019. It was really a bit funny look, as the state, the President and all of his handlers said the Over-The-Top Services would create a tax-base and revenue, which would benefit the state. That is why Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) had set up targets to streamline these new taxes.

I will show more of the fun and explain, as the UCC report really shows how malfunction and lack of due diligence hurt. But first a previous calculation, which was stated to the media. To show how much lack of tax-base the OTT had in 2018, as it was implemented in July and keeps pushing to this date.

Look:

Daily Monitor Reports: “Government collected Shs20.5b from social media in the last quarter ended September, according to data obtained from Uganda Revenue Authority. The tax, which was implemented in July, was however, less than the Shs24.9b target that URA had hoped to collect in the period. URA has a monthly target of Shs8.3b. The tax was introduced in the Excise Duty amendments of financial year 2018/19 requiring all social media users to pay Shs200 per day, before accessing certain platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter, among others. Government intends to collect about Shs100b before the end of the 2018/19 financial year” (Christine Kasemiire – ‘OTT raises Shs20b in first quarter, URA fails on targets’ 07.11.2018).

Let’s first do the math, accordingly, as the URA monthly target is 8,3bn shillings in revenue, every single month. A quarter of a Financial Year is 4 months. In today’s UCC report, it shows the numbers for the Q3 and Q4 of 2018. Which means, that states revenue from July-September and October-December in the previous years. By these standards its 8,3bn X3 to get the supposed of any given Q. That is 24,9bn shillings is estimated to earn per quarter.

However, the UCC report states that in the Q3, the revenue was 12,696,558,400 or 12,6bn shillings which is only about half of the anticipated revenue. The final quarter or Q4 isn’t much better:12,952,833,800 or 12,9bn shillings. Of the estimated earnings, the state is nearly able to gain about half of its target. The market and the consumers are not contributing or using the phones as much as they thought. What is striking if you combine the two quarters of revenue is that the state earned approximately 25,5bn shillings, which is sadly just above one quarter estimate of the URA in supposed revenue on this tax. The estimated earnings of the period would be about 49,8bn and this shows the state managed a deficit of about 24,3bn shillings. That is about on quarters earning not happening at all. Thats a giant shortfall of cash and the URA/UCC needs to explain the Ministry of Finance this one, because this a major loss of promised funding for the state.  

This shows how failed this tax is and what a waste of enforcement and making the tax in its first place. This isn’t fun and games, but a way of misusing power to tax people, just because you find something obnoxious. That is how it seems, since the President want to stop the gossip online and such. Stop spreading of information and ensure that poorest cannot afford to get online and use the OTT services. Because, that what this tax does. Peace.

Uganda: Press Statement – Justification of procurement of OTT services for Members of Parliament (16.05.2019)

Uganda: Ministry of Internal Affairs – Press Statement – False Allegations that Diosdado Cabello (Venezuelan) used a Ugandan Passport to Evacuate Tito Cabello to China (01.03.2019)

Chapter Four: Towards Inclusivity (01.03.2019)

MTN Uganda Not Subjected to an ISO Raid on Friday 15 February 2019 (16.0.2019)

MTN Uganda Scandal: Why are all of these people deported?

There are speculations going on there as the biggest Telecom Company MTN Uganda Limited have been under fire since the midst of January 2019. This has been shown over the recent month, as the leadership and executives have been deported. By my count since mid of January, there been four people.

The three firsts was addressed like this by MTN Group:

MTN Uganda has not been officially notified of the grounds for these arrests and deportations and is trying to establish the precise reasons for the deportations. We are understandably concerned about these developments and the wellbeing of all our employees. MTN Uganda is fully committed to respecting and operating within the laws of the country. Notes to the editor: On Saturday, 19 January 2019, the MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer, Olivier Prentout, was arrested by police at Entebbe airport upon arrival from a business trip abroad. On the morning of Monday 21 January 2019, the MTN Uganda Head of Sales and Distribution, Annie Bilenge Tabura, was arrested by unidentified security personnel upon arrival at the MTN headquarter offices, in Kololo, Kampala. Subsequently, both Mr Prentout and Mrs Bilenge have been deported from Uganda to their home countries, France and Rwanda respectively. On the 22 January 2019, Elza Muzzolini, Head of Mobile Financial Services was also deported from Uganda. – Issued by MTN Group Regulatory and Corporate Affairs” (MTN Group, 23.01.2019).

Therefore, three people has already been deported, this being Prentout, Tabura and Muzzolini. They have all been banished from the Republic. Today, it has escalated again, as CEO Wim Vanhelleputte, whose also has been interrogated and been questioned by ISO/CMI during January 2019. Was today on the 14th February 2019 deported to Belgium by the authorities.

Clearly, the state is retaliating, as they are fearing for their safety and the data shedding the company is doing. As there been speculation that the company has had disgruntled staff leaking intelligence to Rwandan Intelligence Service. This has been reported by various of online news-outlets. Therefore, some thinks it is connected to this, that the President and the regime is afraid of this. That is why these people are all deported from the Republic.

It is clear, that there something going on behind the scenes. As the Security Organizations summons, interrogate and deport MTN executives from the Republic. This is happening, as the state are trying to silence the MTN or stop leaked intelligence to Rwanda. We don’t know if that is true or what. But what we do now, is that the Ugandan government and authorities are acting swiftly and retaliates against the high-ranking officials within the Telecom. Peace.

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