Uganda social media tax: Stella Nyanzi collapses in Kampala

Tuesday July 03 2018

Ugandan scholar, Dr Stella Nyanzi, is helped after collapsing at Central Police Station in Kampala on July 2, 2018. PHOTO | ANDREW BAGALA | DAILY MONITOR


Ugandan scholar Stella Nyanzi was on Monday rushed to hospital after collapsing at the Central Police Station in the capital Kampala.

Dr Nyanzi had gone to the station to visit Makerere University students arrested in government crackdown on anti-social-media-tax protesters.


The controversial academic, who once called President Yoweri Museveni “a pair of buttocks”, was rushed to Naguru Police Hospital.

Police said they suspected she was suffering from hypertension.

The students, identified as David Musiri and Derrick Obedgui, stormed Parliament to demonstrate against the newly introduced USh200 social media tax.


Donning red gowns, they were intercepted by police and bundled onto a waiting truck and driven to the station.

Police said they were locked up are being held on charges of being  “a nuisance”.

Before their arrest, they said they could not afford the daily charges since they have no source of income.


The students said they use social media, especially WhatsApp, to communicate with some of their lecturers and course coordinators.

The social media tax took effect on Monday, forcing some Ugandans to resort to VPN, a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet.

Parliament last month amended the Public Finance Act, slapping the social media tax on Ugandans.

The move followed a directive from President Museveni to the Finance ministry to widen the tax revenue base.

The president said social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Viber were being used for propagating falsehoods.

And for Ugandans to access the sites for what he called Lugambo (gossip), they should pay for them.