Violent protests in Uganda has forced the government to review a controversial tax imposed on social media use in the country.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda in a statement Wednesday said the bill would be amended “taking into consideration the concerns of the public,” and presented to the country’s parliament on July 19.
Uganda passed a new set of laws taxing online services and mobile money transactions in the country in May.
Musician turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi (C) is joined by other activists at the protest in Kampala
Police fired teargas to disperse a crowd of demonstrators led by vocal lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi as they marched towards the parliament in the capital Kampala, local media reported.
The Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill 2018 came into effect on July 1 and meant that Ugandans were paying 200 Ugandan shillings ($0.05) daily to use social platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter.
The tax was highly unpopular and a tech company sued the government amid other protests online.
In the lawsuit, Uganda’s government was accused of breaching the principles of Net neutrality and the petitioners called on Uganda’s Constitutional court to overturn the decision to charge the unpopular tax and “declare it as illegal, null and void.”

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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