Over 150,000 Uganda Mobile Money Agents at risk of losing jobs.


KAMPALA, UGANDA- The imposition of a 1% mobile money tax on every mobile money transaction is likely to leave over 150,000 mobile money agents or people who have been earning a living through mobile commerce jobless according to experts.

The experts argue that such a tax will keep off customers, rendering the many agents redundant hence losing out on the jobs in the long run.

“Most of the mobile money agents spent most of the days of Monday and Tuesday sleeping in their kiosks. This is because there were no customers to serve,” said an Expert who preferred anonymity.

On July 1st, Uganda started to implement all the taxes that were passed in the 2018/19 budget. Some of the taxes that have caused alarm from the general public is the 1% levy on all mobile money transactions, the Ushs200 to access all OTT services per day and Ushs100 excise duty increment on fuel.

However, as a measure of cooling down on the flaring tempers, Uganda’s State Minister for Planning David Bahati clarified on Monday that the 1% mobile money tax must not apply to those intending to digitize cash inform of mobile money deposits on their personal mobile phones.

The Minister, who was speaking to the media said  that the 1% tax must be levied on mobile money transactions not on deposits on individual accounts.

“People who are using mobile money transactions to deposit must not be charged as its been in the first days of the Mobile Money Tax implementation process. The 1% tax must not apply on deposits,” said Bahati.

Bahati’s clarification came a few days after telecommunication companies had started to implement the 1% levy on all mobile money transactions including deposits.

This had created a number of disgruntled Ugandans, with others already taking the government to court over what they called double taxation.

Bahati said however that the 1% tax will only apply to transactions on sending, receiving, withdraws and payments.

Giving figures, Bahati said 101 trillion of the GDP, 62 trillion is transacted through mobile money and if mobile money is taxed, the revenue generated will help Uganda to develop.