Uganda: Social Media Tax: Dr Stella Nyanzi Collapses at CPS While Visiting Suspects

Dr Stella Nyanzi addresses journalists recently.

Ugandan scholar Dr Stella Nyanzi has been rushed to Naguru Police Hospital for treatment after falling sick at Central Police Station in Kampala where she had visited Makerere University students arrested earlier for protesting against the new social media tax.

Police suspect she is suffering from hypertension. The students identified as David Musiri and Derrick Obedgui on Monday stormed Parliament to demonstrate against the newly introduced Shs200 social media tax.

Donned in their red gowns, they were intercepted by Police outside parliament and bundled onto a waiting police truck before they were taken to CPS where they are being held on charges of being common nuisance.

Before their arrest, they said they could not afford the daily charges since they have no source of income yet they use social media, especially Whatsapp for communication with some of their lecturers and course coordinators.

The Shs200 daily social media tax took effect yesterday, forcing some Ugandans to resort to VPN, a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet.

Parliament last month amended the Public Finance Act, slapping the social media tax. The move followed a directive from President Museveni to the Finance ministry to widen the tax revenue base.

The President said social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Viber were being used for propagating falsehoods and that for Ugandans to access the sites for what he called Lugambo, they should pay for them.

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