The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has Tuesday announced that Members of Parliament shall have to foot their Over the Top (OTT) tax on their gadgets despite earlier plans of government footing their bill.
Kadaga made the announcement during her communication to the House in the Tuesday’s plenary sitting at Parliament.
Kadaga asked fellow legislators to endure the inconveniences that were caused by the slow down in the internet at Parliament, noting that this is caused by the shift from the Airtel to MTN as a service provider.
“We have changed the service providers for our internet services, I know that some problems have been met on the internet and accessing Parliamentary documents and emails. This is because there is a change taking place between Airtel and MTN and I hope that in a short time, we will be able to go back to ordinary services,” Kadaga said.
On the same note, the Speaker noted that the members will however have to pay for the OTT tax on their gadgets including the iPads that were given to them by Parliament as their working tools.
“I want to affirm that the OTT will not be paid by government. I have told the Clerk that that part of the contract should be removed,” Kadaga said.
Parliament awarded a contract to Uganda’s leading telecom company, MTN Uganda to offer Mobile internet services and Over the Top (OTT) tax for MPs’ iPads.
According to the bid notice, Parliament had to spend at least Shs 16.5 million per month in provision of internet and tax for OTT services for over 460 members of parliament on their iPads.
The Parliamentary Commission recently embarked on a bidding process to identify the best service provider in which MTN beat Airtel Uganda and Africell who were eliminated at the preliminary stage to emerge the best.
The bidding notice indicated that MTN will provide a 5GB monthly bundle at Shs 30,000 and Shs 6,000 OTT tax for each MPs’ device per month meaning that Parliament will spend Shs 36,000 for each MP per month.