Small Things Can Make A Big Difference
If you want to know why, and how human beings have a complete inability to discipline their appetites, you might want to engage in a personal, unbiased observation of Ugandan policy makers.
Uganda is currently going through a stage of development where anything that could go wrong, is going wrong! Thank God it is going through the stage but not stuck in it.
One might argue that failure is a prerequisite for growth and development. In other words, some things have to go wrong so that solutions can be formulated to remedy the situation and most importantly, to show us how not to do those things.
I agree with this phenomenon but when it comes to Uganda’s policy makers, they are reversing the phenomenon by creating more problems for every solution.
On top of the myriad derailing policies developed in the past years, another desperate one to tax social media users was coined up, a week ago. Desperate because it comes during the pathetic co-existence of unmet targets of tax collection and misappropriation of the collected taxes.
The minister of ICT is on record saying that the move to tax users of social media is aimed at stirring innovation among Ugandans so that they can develop home-based social media apps like it currently is, in the People’s Republic of China.
This is quite a cunning reason, from the minister, to give, but it has been given at the time when most Ugandans can see the real desperate motive behind this move.
The Ministry of Finance has already drafted a proposal to present to parliament wherein it states that telecom companies will be instructed to create algorithms to deduct daily tax from anyone who signs into any of their social media accounts.
Those who use social media for academic purposes will be exempted from this tax, according to the ministry’s proposal.
Much as they already know how they are going to collect this tax, they don’t have an idea, yet, about how they will distinguish between the person who is using social media for gossip from the one using it for academic and business purposes. (Perhaps they’ll get data from Mark Zuckerberg, ha ha!)
Such incessant dilemmas are a characteristic of Uganda’s recent governance policies. These dilemmas are attributed to the parochial, hurried and politically motivated decisions our leaders are making.
This is a contemporary example of how a small thing like greed can cause a whole economy to tip.
Emotional and desperate tax collection plans are no more effective than a beverage straw used to save a drowning man.
As long as greed and sentimentalism still reign among the Ugandans responsible for making governance policies, they will continue creating more problems for every solution, in the pearl of Africa.