I will use social media in this case face book to directly respond to His Execllence Gen. YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI on his proposed taxation of social media platforms.
I really understand your desire to make all Ugandans rich by 2020 Mr. PRESIDENT, however at this rate you may end up making all Ugandans poor.
For your information your Government levies Tax on nearly everything other than the oxygen we breath because even the water we drink, we have to pay taxes for it.
All the tax burden is heaped onto the consumers who you intend to make rich. In short Mr President it seems your happiness is to see everything consumable expensive and in return Ugandans with no savings at all.
From the cost of fertilizers for a farmer to power at homes or in factories, prices have gone up by over 30 percent in the last 2 years.
Question. Is this the BONABAGAGAWALE that was promised?
Mr President, one cannot access internet services without data or airtime, this government unlike others has not provided Ugandans with free internet access.
All is expensively paid for and in some areas cannot easily be accessed.
We should be discussing the access to cheap data for people to do cheap business in marketing and e-commerce or e-government.
Probably giving free internet to learning Institutions and free laptops to all learners from elementary school to university.
This is the only way small and medium Enterprises can grow but also build a relevant human resource base to compete world over.
These social media platforms you intend to tax highly are sources of wealth if well tapped.
Facebook, whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter etc account for a network market of 1.5 billion consumers.
Facebook alone makes more money than the entire Ugandan economy. Your role Mr President should be to look out for Mr. Mark Zukerberg the founder of Facebook to help teach Africans how a person with access to cheap data can start an application like Facebook with less than 30,000 dollars and become one of the world’s richest companies in just 3 years.
Probably the 21st century’s biggest innovation is the internet. For your information in modern nations access to internet has become a Right. Without instant and real-time communication, your dream of achieving a modern economy with a serious middle class may be far from the truth. There is a saying that,”you cannot eat your cake and have it.”
Your government should explore ways to tap into this market world over to promote tourism, coffee, fish and even Ugandan technology and innovations.
You have very many people occupying government offices to replicate roles. Uganda needs more innovators in information technology and strategic marketing.
This role has only been tried by yourself as you have a Facebook account where you communicate to the people regularly and consistently.
THE Question is, Name only 20 persons from the thousands that your government employs that market your government programs?
Why is that you’re a one man Army in this area?
What I am certainly sure of , is that most if not all your government officials own more than atleast one smart phone, tablets, computers, government cars, free WiFi at ministries and various Authorities etc.
Question. Why have they chosen to keep quiet and leave you carry this cross alone? They are either incompetent, ignorant or are not convinced with your vision.
Your government has given tax holidays and gifted free land to foreign investors who have in return nothing or little to show and all this at the expense of an ordinary tax payer.
Most end up repatriating all the profits from this Nation.
If a strict policy on this matter is not adopted then we are in great danger as an economy.
You have created a government with most people around you as either yes men or dealers. What sort of advice do you expect from many of these people? They only have to first read your mind in order to guide you. Some are honest but most fear to loose their positions. Below are a few examples of real Uganda.
Have you realised that the cost of fuel has gone up by over 30 percent in just a period of one year?
Do you realise that taxes on private schools have driven the cost of education very high?
Do you realise that tax on scholastic materials is making education nearly impossible even for the peasantry class?
Do you realise that all ordinary Ugandans that don’t survive on corruption are becoming poorer each day that passes?
Have you been told that over 100,000 ordinary Ugandans that had started their businesses down town have closed shop and that retail also big retail outlets like Uchumi, Nakumatt etc have closed shop because of the hard economic times?
THE merits of these social media platforms are very many in making business easy for example with 10 broadcast lists one can cheaply advertise a business to 2500 people daily. For a year that if consistently done can reach out to one million people.
On Facebook from 5 dollars people can boost viewership of particular posts or promote pages at a cheap cost. As simple advice for just 10,000 dollars per month Uganda government can be promoted to over 100million viewers on Facebook. If Uganda can concentrate on Europe , Gulf, China and North America for these promotions, then we can be assured of at least 20million tourists per year.
Question is what are your foreign Missions and Ambassadors doing?
Where is your Tourism Promotion Board? Does the world know that Uganda has the biggest population of Gorillas in Bwindi alone but also has the cheapest Gorilla tracking permit in the region?
Why blame under utilised Facebook for your economic woes?
On Twitter alone you have over a billion people.
Question is where is your Investment Authority ?
Where is your Export promotion Board?
I will not explore all the merits of these underutilized platforms today , will save that for another moment.
In the nutshell, I humbly would like to persuade you Mr. PRESIDENT to drop the idea of taxing these platforms for it will not solve the critical economic problems of the country.
THE BAGANDA HAVE A WISE SAYING, ” BAKUSELELLA MUKATALE, OYOMBESSA KUBO?”
Literally meaning don’t apportion blame on the innocent for the omissions of others.
For God and my country.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
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