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Ugandan Government Accused of High Mobile Money Taxes.

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The Government of Uganda has been accused of contravening the constitution by imposing a 10-percent exercise duty on money mobile withdrawal. Sectors blamed for the same include the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

Joshua Tumwine, the complainant, seeks a declaration that by recognizing the business and taxation of 10 percent exercise on mobile money withdrawal, the ministries responsible are infringing the Constitution.

Tumwine has dragged the Attorney General (AG) and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to court claiming that the move undermines the rule of law and the constitutional mandate of the Bank of Uganda therefore going against the provisos of the Constitution.

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The Kampala city economist seeks a permanent injunction restraining the Attorney General and URA and their agents from continuing to recognize the act that promotes unequal and discriminatory treatment under the law.

This comes after finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said she planned to raise $16.5 million (£10.6 million) by imposing a levy on incoming international phone calls to plug a $214 million hole in the budget after donors cut aid due to corruption accusation. The 10 percent tax is expected to raise some $12 million annually.

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The mobile money tax is said to amount to a criminal offence under the Financial Institutions. It also enables the offender to evade criminal sanctions since it measures to violation of the Constitution.

The high tax imposition on the telecommunications product could affect the 8.9 million customers using six mobile phone networks in the country especially those in remote areas where banking facilities are inaccessible.

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