Yesterday the monthly reception of paid-up data and social media tax (commonly known as OTT tax) drew closer to becoming a reality for Uganda’s 458 Members of parliament (MPs). As it was officially confirmed that leading telecommunications company MTN has been awarded a contract worth 197 million to provide monthly 5GB data for each Member of Parliament worth sh.30, 000 as well as monthly OTT/ social media tax worth shs.6000 for each of the honourable legislators.
Now several MPs (mostly from the opposition side) have come out to oppose the development of having the Ugandan public coffers spending yet more money on something they believe MPs should be able to pay for from their considerable monthly perks.
Buhweju County MP Francis Mwijukye has argued that the same Members of Parliament who passed the social media tax cannot be exempted from bearing its weight because it would be very unfair to other Ugandans.
Manjiya County MP John Baptist Nambeshe re-echoed Mwijukye’s view, saying it’s very unacceptable for parliamentarians to be receiving so many privileges when communities are starving.
“It’s uncalled for and unacceptable because we cannot be receiving such privileges when communities are starving,” Nambeshe said.
Even some staunch NRM MPs have added their voice to the criticism of the monthly fully paid-up data and social media tax for the legislators.
Mwine Mpaka, Youth MP Western region says MPs are ‘swimming’ in lots of public money and therefore should be able to meet all their bills without any help.
“Government should invest that money into other demanding sectors,” Mwine reckons.