13 April 2018

Kenya: Is Kenya Next After Tanzania, Uganda Slaps Tax On Bloggers and Social Media Users?

Photo: Pixabay

It will cost you not up to Sh93,000 ($930) in fines if you are found blogging or operating a website without a licence in Tanzania, according to a new law that passed last month.

In neighboring, Uganda Finance Minister Matia Kasaija this week said they are in the process of introducing a tax that will charge each mobile phone subscriber using platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook Sh5.50 (200 Ugandan shillings) per day.

Kenyans are waiting to see if the Communication Authority (CA) follow suit in the clampdown on social media already in the two neighbouring countries.

ANNUAL FEE

Tanzania's new law requires any citizen operating a blog or website to pay an annual licence fee of Sh44,000 (1 million Tanzanian shillings).

Uganda will start to slap their new tax on social media users from July to raise revenue, which human rights activists denounced as another attempt by President Yoweri Museveni to stifle freedom of expression and quash dissent to his 32-year-rule.

Data costs in Africa are already among the world's highest, according to digital advocacy group World Wide Web Foundation.

LIMIT USE OF INTERNET

Ugandan minister Matia Kasaija told Reuters in a phone interview that the tax will not be to limit people's use of the internet.

"We're looking for money to maintain the security of the country and extend electricity so that you people can enjoy more of social media, more often, more frequently," he said.

Kenya has more than 43.4 million internet users out of a population of 50 million people.

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