Amnesty International has called on Uganda to reverse its social media licensing and taxing process, which it contends is a violation of freedom of expression. This comes after the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) issued a notice that all persons who wish to use social media must be licensed by October 5th. This is the latest blow to the 2021 national election where all campaigning will be done via social media.
The social media tax was first introduced in 2018 where it lowered social media users in the country from 47% to 38%.
Amnesty’s Director of East and Southern Africa said Wednesday, “The requirement for people to seek authorisation before posting information online is retrogressive and a blatant violation of the right to freedom of expression and access to information. With restrictions on public gatherings already in place, the Ugandan authorities are shutting off a vital channel for people to express their political opinions and share critical information about COVID-19.” Amnesty believes that this is just a front to hinder people’s freedom of expression and interfere in the election.