Uganda social media tax fails to raise expected amount

Tuesday July 16 2019

A smartphone user. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A smartphone user. Uganda has raised just 17 per cent of the expected revenue from the controversial social media tax. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A controversial social media tax introduced in Uganda last year has raised just 17 per cent of the expected revenue.

The head of the Ugandan Revenue Authority, Doris Akol, said the shortfall was due to people using wireless networks and virtual private networks to avoid the daily tax of around $0.05.

The government said the levy was needed to raise more funds.

It led to street protests and was criticised for being part of a wider attempt by the authorities to stifle free speech and prevent social media from being used to organise peaceful protests.