Freedom Taking a Dive in East Africa
Written by Mwalugha Bura on June 13, 2018
What is happening in East Africa? It has only been a couple of weeks since the government of Uganda imposed a law on taxation on the use of social media in a bid to raise revenue for the government. Some critics say that this is only a way to cripple the criticism over the current president Yoweri Museveni, who has served since 1986. Ugandans are supposed to pay 200 Ugandan shillings which are roughly 5 shillings 30 cents Kenyan shillings.
We have not processed this blow enough, the Tanzanian government forcing any contributors to the Internet who resides in Tanzania to have a license of $900 which at this point is somewhere in the ninety-one thousand and some digits afterward. The deadline for acquiring these licenses is on 15th June which is the day after next. To add to that, those who defying will receive a fine of not less than 5 million Tanzanian shillings, that is over 220,000 Kenya shillings.
This has led to the suspension of activities in one of the biggest sites in East Africa, Jamii forums, which has nicknames like the Tanzanian Reddit, Swahili version of Wikileaks.
Hey, let us enjoy the freedom of speech, expression, and media before we get other tragic news. But seriously, where are we heading as a region?