Uganda Plans Tax On Social Media Use From July - Naijaray
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Uganda Plans Tax On Social Media Use From July

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Uganda plans to slap a new tax on social media users from July to raise revenue, which human rights activists denounced as another attempt by President Yoweri Museveni to stifle freedom of expression and quash dissent to his 32-year-rule.

 

The move is unlikely to go down well in a country where more than 40 percent of people use the internet. Data costs in Africa are already among the world’s highest, according to digital advocacy group World Wide Web Foundation.

 

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija told Reuters in a phone interview that the tax will charge each mobile phone subscriber using platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook 200 Ugandan shillings ($0.027) per day. He dismissed concerns it could limit people’s use of the internet.

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“We’re looking for money to maintain the security of the country and extend electricity so that you people can enjoy more of social media, more often, more frequently,” he said.

 

Human rights activists begged to differ, and some took to social media to criticise the proposal.

 

“It’s part of a wider attempt to curtail freedoms of expression,” Rosebell Kagumire, a human rights activist and blogger, said.

 

Of Uganda’s 41 million people, 23.6 million are mobile phone subscribers and 17 million use the internet.

 

Kasaija said the proposal, to be included in the budget for fiscal 2018/19 starting in July, had been sent to parliament this week for review after the cabinet approved it.

 

The government blocked access to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp during the last general election in 2016, a move used by other entrenched rulers in Africa in response to grassroots movements against them.

READ ALSO  Stormy Daniels ordered to pay Donald Trump $293k in legal fees

 

Among other governments in East Africa moving to regulate internet use, Tanzania introduced a law last month requiring any citizen operating a blog or website to pay an annual licence fee of 1 million Tanzanian shillings ($440). ($1 = 3,690 Ugandan shillings, 2,261 Tanzanian shillings) .

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Doyin Okupe: EFCC accused of trying to silence ex-Jonathan’s aide 

Following the detention of Doyin Okupe, former aide to immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, a group known as Patriotic Nigerians, has described his continuous detention as an allege attempt to silence the PDP chieftain.

A statement signed by the group’s coordinator, Musa Muhammad, stated that despite willingly honouring the invitation of EFFC, Okupe who is the Media Adviser to the Director General of the PDP Presidential campaign has continued to be detained, which according to the group has a political undertone.

The statement reads, “Dr. Doyin Okupe yesterday (Monday) honoured the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC at the Abuja headquarters of the anti-graft body.

“Despite being patriotic and law-abiding enough to obey the invitation, it’s seems there is more to the invitation than meets the eye.

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“It is beginning to look like the anti-graft agency is on a political witch-hunt to silence the vociferous former presidential spokesperson, as it has been doing to every other active opposition figures in the nation.

The group also accused the EFCC of inconsistency in the charges put up against Okupe, adding that his case has not been assigned to any of the commission’s lawyers for prosecution as required by the law.

“Initially, EFCC claimed its invitation was based on cyber crime, but it has since shifted the goalpost in the middle of the game, changing the charges to misappropriation of arms fund claimed to have been released to him by former NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

“Agreed that the EFCC has a case against Okupe, but it’s quite surprising that since his arrival at the EFCC headquarters, the agency has refused to assign his case to a lawyer for prosecution at the court.

READ ALSO  Doyin Okupe: EFCC accused of trying to silence ex-Jonathan’s aide 

“It is obvious that the EFCC is deploying a delay tactics to keep Okupe in detention as it goes on Christmas break and keep him there till the New Year.

“The nation is waiting for the abracadabra of EFCC,” the statement read.

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Stormy Daniels ordered to pay Donald Trump $293k in legal fees

Porn star, Stormy Daniels was on Tuesday ordered by a federal judge to pay President Donald Trump hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for her failed defamation lawsuit against him.

Judge James Otero, who threw out Daniels’ suit against Trump, asked her to pay the US President $293,052.33 in attorney fees.

He wrote:

Based on the unique nature of this litigation and the Court’s familiarity with the fees charged in this jurisdiction, the Court concludes that Defendant’s rate requests are reasonable.
Ms Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, who allegedly had an affair with Trump in 2016 when his wife just had their son, said last April that she had been threatened by a man in a car park to keep quiet about the alleged affair.

READ ALSO  Stormy Daniels ordered to pay Donald Trump $293k in legal fees

She shared a sketch of the man who she claimed had threatened her and her child.

Mr Trump retweeted the image, calling it a “total con job”, and describing the image as being of a “non-existent man”.

With the help of her attorney Michael Avenatti she took Trump to court. She sued arguing that the president’s tweet was defamatory as it accused Ms Daniels of “committing a serious crime” – namely, falsely accusing a person of threatening her.

But Judge Otero dismissed the suit in October and said Trump’s tweet was a “hyperbolic statement” against a political foe.

Avenatti quickly denounced the president and his lawyers and downplayed the judge’s order on Twitter.

Avenatti tweeted:

Stormy will never have to pay the felon Cohen or Trump a single dime in attorney’s fees, costs or sanctions. The award is dwarfed by the $1.5 million award to be issued in NDA case – the main case where Cohen and Trump have been lying to the court and the public. #Criminals.
Avenatti is representing Daniels in another lawsuit against Trump and his former attorney Michael Cohen. Through litigation, the adult film actress is seeking to void a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) about her alleged 2006 affair with the president.

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