News Brief

Uganda to Review Controversial Social Media Tax Following Public Protests

Demonstrators were met with tear gas and bullets as they took to the streets to protest Uganda's controversial social media tax on Wednesday.

The Ugandan government's decision to implement a social media tax has been a controversial one to say the least.

The tax went into effect on July 1, and requires Ugandans who use sites such as Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter to pay a fee of 200 shillings ($0.05) before gaining access.

The decision was highly contested from the beginning, with many arguing that it was a way for the government to censor citizens. President Yoweri Museveni claimed early on that the tax would help curb online gossiping.

Ugandans have taken to social media in the days since to denounce the president and the implementation of the levy. Many used sharp humor to express their anger, but today things took a more serious turn.


Earlier Wednesday morning, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Kampala in a protest organized by musician and member of parliament Bobi Wine who leveraged social media last year in order to win his position, reports Times Live.

Police and protestors faced off, as officers who fired bullets and tear gas in an effort to break up the crowd as they marched towards parliament.

Following public protests, Uganda's parliament has announced its plans to review the order, BBC Africa reports.

"Government is now reviewing the taxes taking into consideration the concerns of the public and its implications on the budget," said the country's Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda.

"The president has provided guidance on the matter and encouraged further discussion with a view to reaching consensus on how we should raise the much needed revenue to finance our budget."

News Brief
Photo by Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images.

Kenyan Rastafarians Want Cannabis Unbanned for Religious Reasons

The Rastafari Society of Kenya argues that the personal use of cannabis, which is currently outlawed in the country, is an integral part of their religion.

According to local media reports, the Rastafari Society of Kenya has gone before the High Court to argue in favour of the personal use of cannabis. Currently illegal in Kenya, the minority religious group argues that the laws criminalising the use of cannabis in Kenya are prejudiced towards their religion given that the substance is a "sacrament connecting believers to their creator." Cannabis is commonly used as incense to initiate religious practises by Rastafarians and is often followed by a series of praises and prayers.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images

AKA's Music Career Faces A Crisis Amidst Investigations Around Anele Tembe's Death

South African rapper AKA announced a cessation of all activities with Cruz Vodka. This, following the abuse allegations that have emerged during the investigations of his fiancée Anele Tembe's death.

South African rapper AKA, real name Kiernan Forbes, is reportedly in the process of brand evaluation. This, after the rapper publicly announced a temporary break regarding promotions with the New York-based vodka company, Cruz Vodka. The statement coincides with the ongoing investigations surrounding Anele Tembe's death, and a widely circulated video showing AKA allegedly attempting to break down a door to enter his fiancé's room.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Image supplied by the artist

Nigeria's DJ Spinall Adds 6lack On The New 'Sere' Remix

American artist 6lack joins Nigerian Afropop singer Fireboy DML in bringing additional magic to DJ Spinall's remix of the single 'Sere'.

Nigeria's DJ Spinall has officially dropped the remix for his latest massive hit single "Sere'', off his fifth studio album Grace. The "Sere" remix comes packed with power, especially, with the addition of American rapper 6lack to the banger that originally, only, featured Fireboy DML. The remix follows the music video release for the original "Sere" single, which has amassed millions of views thus far. The remix is a bonus Afopop track worth the listen.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

South Africa's Latest Xenophobic Attacks Target Somali Nationals

The latest xenophobic attacks in South Africa have already left 13 Somali nationals dead in Khayelitsha this past Saturday.