Uganda and Tanzania came under fire for internet regulations that critics say are thinly disguised efforts to curb free speech.
Uganda plans to slap a new tax on social media users from July, noted Reuters, while Tanzania has introduced a $930 fee for bloggers, along with stricter regulations for online radio stations, online streaming platforms, online forums, social media users and internet cafes, CNN reported.
The Tanzanian rules require bloggers to provide information including share capital, tax certificates, estimated investments and other information to secure accreditation. The regulations also ban “content that causes annoyance… or leads to public disorder.”
In Uganda, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said the government will tax each mobile phone subscriber using platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook 200 Ugandan shillings ($0.027) per day, characterizing the tax as a move to generate revenue that would not limit the use of the internet.
But human rights activists weren’t convinced – considering that the government blocked access to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp during the last general election in 2016.