Is this cost accounted for in your 200/= or is it over and above?
This tax comes on the heels of a directive last March by the communications regulator for registration of online content providers.
Uganda is potentially setting a worrying trend for the region, as neighbours Tanzania and Congo have similarly issued stringent online content regulations that threaten citizens’ rights to privacy and freedom of expression and promote self-censorship.
Section 2 of the Excise Duty Amendment Act provides that the tax will apply to “the transmission or receipt of voice or messages over the internet protocol network and includes access to virtual private networks but does not include educational or research sites prescribed by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.” The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has listed sites such as professional networking platform Linked In and dating sites such as Badoo and Tinder among those that would be accessed only upon payment.
The government has not stated what constitutes educational or research sites.
However, access to some VPN sites – particularly free ones – has also been blocked and knowledge about VPN access and use is largely limited to tech savvy users.