Two people have been arrested from Parliament as they protested against the newly introduced Social Media Tax.
The two who are identified as Musili David and Obed Obedgiu Kwokuboth Jalmeo were arrested on Monday morning, according to the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, ASP Luke Owoyesigyire.
They are students of Makerere University. They were carrying posters written on messages against the tax, and sought to present a petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.
Owoyesigyire told reporters that the two students were apprehended for being a public nuisance.
“According to them, they weren’t satisfied with the current social media taxes which we feel wasn’t the right way to demonstrate in that way,” Owoyesigyire said.
“If they wanted to protest, they should have written to us and perhaps we would have given them a go ahead but they didn’t. They are now being detained at Central Police station as investigations go on,” he added.
Social media tax, a daily levy on every Ugandan using social media platforms took effect yesterday.
Subscribers will be required to pay a daily fee of Shs 200 to tax body Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), before accessing their social media networks.
The proposal to have these taxes levied was first proposed by President Yoweri Museveni in March this year to the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija, as a deliberate move to stop what the President called Lugambo (gossip), but also increase government revenue.
However the new levy has left many Ugandans frustrated with some concerned that the policy is unfair and infringes on the right to access information. Others say it exploits the ordinary Ugandan.