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Wednesday,September 18,2019 11:38 AM

PWDs decry social media tax

By Cecilia Okoth

Added 4th July 2018 11:26 AM

Starting July 1, users have had to pay a daily tax of sh200 to access social media platforms

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Starting July 1, users have had to pay a daily tax of sh200 to access social media platforms

Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Affairs, Janat Mukwaya, signs a plague as a commitment for inclusion of PWDs into the development agenda during the 2018 Global Disability Summit at Sheraton Kampala Hotel. Photo by Miriam Namutebi

Persons with disability have protested the new social media tax saying these platforms are a means for their survival and a communication tool.

“The tax on social media needs to be renegotiated especially for the deaf and blind to ensure they are not completely shut out,” Edson Ngirabakunzi the executive director of National Union of Disabled Persons in Uganda said.

Ngirabakunzi who was speaking at a national dialogue on disability at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday said: “Social media is used by PWDs who are blind and deaf because the phones are installed with software that helps ease their communication to parents in times of emergencies or when children fall sick.”

He said if the government continues taxing the population, it will disadvantage PWDs in terms of accessing services, going to school and employment.

Starting July 1, users have had to pay a daily tax of sh200 to access social media platforms, after the government introduced a tax on social media.

Robert Mugisa who has suffered from cerebral palsy since childhood, said he preferred using social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook for communication purposes, because of his difficulty in speech.

In response, Simon Mayende, who represented the ICT minister Frank Tumwebaze at the event said: “The social media tax is something new however we must continue debating about it through dialogue.”  

He however said the government was committed to enhancing ICT for PWDs.

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