News that Museveni had decided to impose a daily tax on use of social media by Ugandans seemed untrue. Many treated it as bad gossip driven by cheeky netizens but the horror of it has come true.
Ugandan people are from the first of this July expected to pay a daily tax of Ushs200 in order to be able to access social media sites like Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Grindin and other social media sites. Those who cannot afford the charge have found themselves locked out.
The outcry has been immediate with many who rely on the secondary services of these platforms finding themselves inconvenienced.
The social media is a powerful tool for bringing the people together and tin pot dictators like Museveni find themselves threatened. Africa is still littered with leaders pushing for the continent to stay in the dark and the freedoms of the people keep diminishing by the day with democracy taking a back pedal.
Ugandans have struggled for freedom under Museveni and this new push by the authorities will only serve to isolate them from a sizeable and restless demographic group.
The youth usually while away time on Facebook and Whatsapp and blocking them will only serve to push them into a corner from which they will come out fighting. Expectedly.
Erstwhile opponents of his rule now have a subject to rally around and it will not be surprising to see a lose coalition building up. To millions, Museveni is going to be an object of hate seeing that by restricting their access to information, he is putting them insiin a virtual prison. Access to information is a universal right and it won’t be surprising to see major powers pushing to see a rollback on this unfortunate policy.