Social media users might begin to part with some extra cash as the government concludes plans to impose a tax on such networks as Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter
The Ugandan parliament passed a law in that regard on Thursday, in a desperate bid to increase revenue in the country.
The tax for users of WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook is minimal, at 200 Ugandan shillings (five cents) a day, but adds up to about 18 dollars a year.
“As a government, we thought it would be good to impose taxes on some aspects of the social media,” deputy government spokesman Shaban Bantariza, said on Thursday.
He added that “government is installing infrastructure like WiFi in areas around the country and it will not do this without our contribution through taxes.”
However, human rights groups expressed concern over the move, which reportedly came about after long-time leader Yoweri Museveni said social media helped spread gossip.
“This tax is detrimental to the enjoyment of freedom of expression,” said Livingstone Sewannyana, director of Uganda’s Foundation for Human Rights Initiative.
“It's prohibitive. It shows the repressive nature of the state which is amassing as much revenue as it can to its advantage,” he added.
This has come with several backlashes from the public who are in awe of such imposition and called out on the government to reverse the law.