The Ugandan parliament has passed a law to impose a controversial tax on its citizens using social media platforms.
It has introduced a 200 shilling [$0.05, £0.04] daily levy on people using internet messaging platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, and Twitter.
The law should come into effect on 1 July but there remain doubts about how it will be implemented.
Ugandan’s President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the changes, arguing that social media encouraged gossip.
Mr. Museveni pushed for the social media law back in March. He wrote a letter to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija insisting that the revenue collected by the social media tax would help the country “cope with consequences of olugambo [gossiping]”.
But he argued there should be no tax on internet data as it was useful for “educational, research or reference purposes”.
Critics at the time said the law would curtail freedom of expression.
Mr. Kasaija dismissed concerns that the new law could limit people’s use of the internet.
State Minister for Finance David Bahati told parliament that the tax increases were needed to help Uganda pay off its growing national debt.
Experts and at least one major internet service provider have raised doubts about how a daily tax on social media will be implemented, the BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga reports from Uganda.
The government is struggling to ensure all mobile phone SIM cards are properly registered.
And of the 23.6 million mobile phone subscribers in the country, only 17 million use the internet, Reuters reports.
It is therefore not clear how authorities will be able to identify Ugandans accessing social media sites.