Museveni now blames corrupt officials for mobile money tax

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has blamed the confusion surrounding the Mobile money tax on his government’s corrupt officials.

In a statement posted on his website in response social media comments on his earlier statement explaining the introduction of the taxes, Museveni insisted that the tax on mobile money transactions should be 0.5% not 1%.

Museveni said, apart from the tax being new and misunderstood my the public, there are elements in government who worked to confuse and lead the public into rejecting the tax because of personal motives.

“They have been hiding the movement of money in and out of the country, the coming in and going of telephone calls, the misuse of social-media for subversion and malice,” Museveni stated.

Last week, Museveni issued a statement through his social media platforms explaining why he introduced taxes on mobile money and social media platforms.

His explanation however attracted wide criticism and challenges which prompted the latest response.

Museveni said, his corrupt officials in doubling the tax wanted to incite the public against government efforts to attain financial Independence from foreign masters.

He said that given the size of Uganda’s economy, the country should be able to attain independence and self-sufficiency if legitimate taxes are collected.

He reaffirmed his earlier position that social media is a luxury that is costing Uganda a lot through profit repatriation.

“As I said in my earlier message, it is, moreover, a luxury that is costly to the country’s economy apart from the shillings the users keep spending to use the internet to access the social media (facebook),” Museveni said.

“The foreign telephone companies accumulate a lot of local shillings from the social media merry- makers or malice promoters; they, then, go to the forex bureaus and buy the dollars I have earned from my milk products, from coffee, from tea etc etc and, guess what, send abroad (send back the very dollars we had just earned) this hard currency,” he further wrote.

The Mobile Money tax and Over the Top tax received public criticism since their commencement on 1st July.

The country has since witnessed protests on Kampala streets as well as a suit being filed in court challenging the taxes.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda told Parliament that government will next week come up with a bill to amend the Excise Duty (Amendment) Act 2018 which introduced the controversial taxes.