Business man and veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda has asked Ugandans to stop complaining about the newly introduced social media tax. According to him, he believes that Ugandans are paying the least taxes in the region and therefore should willingly respond positively and pay the tax.
“Many Ugandans are criticizing me 4 saying they don’t pay taxes. There is a scientific way to measure this, get total tax revenue divided by total population i.e. tax revenue per person: Kenya, $326, Rwanda $222, Tanzania $120, Uganda $106. And Ugandans claim they r paying too much,” he said.
Mwenda also adds that shs. 6000 is little money compared to what people earn especially those that run businesses on social media. He also adds that social media has been misused as people use it to insult others.
“Here is why u should pay the daily Shs 200 social media tax. If u use social media to make money, Shs 6k per month is a fair contributor to the treasury. If u use social media to hurl insults at others, the more reason the state should penalize u with this tax,” he analyzed.
Much more, Mwenda has asked Ugandans to willingly pay the taxes and later demand the government for accountability instead of complaining bout misuse of funds that have not yet been paid.
“Imagine u have a low income and govt wants to take your Shs 6,000 per month which u use to chat idly online. I understand your sense of loss and why u insult me but I don’t agree that you should not pay. You want the state to serve you. Pay your taxes and demand accountability,” he said.
Mwenda has also asked Ugandans who are against the new taxes to avoid using the services that have been taxed and after which, they will realize that the tax is not as expensive as they claim.
“The tax on social media and mobile money is easy to avoid. If u don’t want to pay it, just don’t use these services. Don’t use WhatsApp, send an sms. Avoid mobile money & drive to Katakwi to give your mum 50k. U will discover that is more expensive than paying that shs 200 & 1%,” he advised.
In addition, Andrew Mwenda argues that Ugandans are so demanding and yet fail to contribute to the development of the country which makes it hard for government to put new infrastructure and also effectively maintain it.
“Ugandans don’t pay taxes yet demand security, free education & healthcare, cheap electricity & clean water, good roads etc. Of 272,000 individual businesses registered for taxes only 27,000 actually pay; 4,500 pay 80% of the taxes. How should the state fund these public services?” he questioned.