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Mobile Money Tax to Stay

Members of Parliament on Tuesday evening voted to maintain the mobile money tax.

The house chaired by the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah was tense as legislators for and against the excise duty readied and swore to swing the votes to their respective favor.

The first vote by show of hands ended in disagreements as the number of total votes exceeded the earlier pronounced total numbers of MPs present in the plenary.

During the first vote, 136 MPs voted for the revision of the tax from 1 percent to 0.5 and maintaining it in the law while 101 members voted for the total deletion of the tax. The total votes registered were 237 against the total number of 196 MPs resulting to a second vote.

The second vote done by roll call, attracted additional members but nothing significant was changed. 164 MPs, all from the ruling National Resistance Movement and leaning independent members, voted for the staying of mobile money tax at 0.5 percent at the withdrawal point.

Those who wanted the mobile money tax deleted, in support of the motion moved by Ndorwa East MP Vincent Niwagaba, registered 124 votes.

The Tuesday vote happened after a meeting of NRM Caucus with President Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe on Monday.

Museveni reportedly convinced NRM MPs that 0.5 percent is a small fraction on a service effectively enabling transfer of money and therefore mobile money tax should be revised and maintained.

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He gave MPs the comparison of physically transporting money to Lira and incurring small percentage on electronic transfer.

Museveni told the Caucus that one needs approximately Shs 60,000 to transport or send someone with money from Kampala to Lira. This person, he said, needs to pay bus fare and also eat or drink something on the way.

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