Tanzania imposes licence fees to curb ‘decadent’ bloggers
Publish date: 16 April 2018
Issue Number: 4439
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Tanzania has finally signed into law a new regulation that will govern social media and blogging. The Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2017, was initially published by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority. A report on The Next Web site notes that it provides for a licence fee to be charged to Tanzanians operating online radio stations and video websites. Bloggers are also required to apply for a licence to blog from the authority and they will be required to pay a licence fee as well as annual fees. The government said the move would help to put a stop to the ‘moral decadence’ caused by social media and the Internet in the country.
And neighbouring Uganda plans to impose a daily tax on social media users from July in a bid to raise revenue, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija has confirmed. The move has been criticised by rights activist Rosebell Kagumire who said it was part of a wider attempt to curtail freedom of expression. BBC News reports that President Yoweri Museveni was quoted as telling Kasaija that a tax should be introduced on people who used social media for ‘gossip’. ‘I am not going to propose a tax on Internet use for educational, research or reference purposes … these must remain free,’ he reportedly said. The proposed tax will see each mobile phone subscriber who uses platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter being charged.