As some entertainers continue to protest the taxes that government recently slapped on access to social media, singer Bebe Cool won’t have any of that. He has chosen to stand on the other side in the highly contentious debate.
Last week, the self proclaimed ‘Big Size’ raised some dust within the music industry when he said he was for the social media tax. Bebe Cool argued that social media platforms were a mere luxury, an argument similar to that raised by the President in his initial proposal for the said tax.
Some of the popular figures in entertainment industry, including Bobi Wine, A Pass, Hilderman, Spice Diana and comedian Patrick Salvado have vehemently opposed the tax which they say is unfair and a burden.
Most of these rely on their online audience to pass out their works and message, but their fear is, the Shs 200 daily tax could eat into their followers on Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Twitter and other social networks.
On the contrary, Bebe Cool says social media just like alcohol, gambling, clubbing among others is a luxury.
“Do we Ugandans know the difference between luxuries and necessities? A luxury is something expensive that is pleasant to have but you can live without it. And a necessity is something you can’t avoid or leave without,” the ‘Kabulengane’ singer write in a post.
To drive his point home, Bebe Cool says that prior to the emergence of social media, people and businesses existed in Uganda, and that to date, majority of these businesses still thrive without this new media.
“Social media was introuduced in Uganda less than 10 years ago but people and businesses existed and excelled before it was introduced. Up to now, 90% of the business todate succeed without social media in Uganda”.
“Be genuine to yourself, for the period you have spent using social media, which financial gain have you received?” he asked.
In his opinion, anyone who appreciates the value of such platforms in regards to their business, job and other benefits should find no trouble paying “a mere” Shs 200.
“If you are the majority that gain nothing useful or sensible on social media, why continue spending money on it? Leave alone the Shs 200 but the tens of thousands of shillings on data,” said the singer who stated that he had the luxury of being candid with his critics since he isn’t worried about their votes.
“Can we Ugandans start defferianting between assets and liabilities?”
He observed that it is common for many Ugandans to settle for liabilities for the sake of putting on an impression, as opposed to acquiring assets. Same reason he has given whenever he is bashed for not completing his mansion on time.
According to Bebe Cool, citizens should support initiatives that seek to make the country more self reliant other than relying on foreign aid (liabilities). He says part of widening the tax base includes taxing luxuries.
“Wouldn’t you as a Ugandan want us to be in a better position to take care of our business as a country? Be self reliant enough to concentrate on the priority needs of us as a people instead of labouring merely to pay back debts after debts,” he said.