Uganda's parliament passed a law late on Wednesday imposing a tax of tax of 200 shillings ($0.05) a day on users of so-called "over the top" services which publish content bypassing traditional distributors. However, the president, Yoweri Museveni, wrote to the finance ministry in March urging the introduction of the tax as a way to deal with the consequences of online "gossip".
The new Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill will also impose various other taxes, including a 1% levy on the total value of mobile money transactions - which civil society groups complain will affect poorer Ugandans who rarely use banking services.
Finance minister David Bahati said the aim of the legislation was only to raise revenue for public services.
"As a government, we thought it would be good to impose taxes on some aspects of the social media", deputy government spokesman Shaban Bantariza told dpa Thursday, the day after parliament passed the law.
At the same time, Uganda is struggling to ensure all mobile phone SIM cards are properly registered.
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It was not quite clear how the tax would be implemented, but 24 millions Ugandans - about half the population - have access to the internet, according to the Uganda Communications Commission, mostly through mobile phones.
While it remains unclear how it will be implemented, local critics suggest that the law is another way to stifle freedom of expression.
Mr Kasaija dismissed concerns that the new law could limit people's use of the internet. It's possible there may also be a political angle here, as President Musaveni suspended access to social media apps and platforms in the run-up to the country's 2016 presidential elections.
Journalists and bloggers managed to win a court order blocking the Kenyan law's ban on "false" information, which they argue is an attempt to muzzle independent media.