FILE PHOTO: A staff holds a smart phone which being tested for Rakuten's under-construction mobile network at its network facility in Tokyo. A controversial social media tax introduced in Uganda last year has raised just 17 percent of the expected revenue, the BBC reported.

JOHANNESBURG - A controversial social media tax introduced in Uganda last year has raised just 17 percent of the expected revenue, the BBC reported.

When the levy was implemented it lead to street protests with Kampala accused of introducing the levy as part of a wider attempt to stifle free speech and prevent social media being used to organise protests.

However, the government said the levy was necessary to raise funds.

Doris Akol, the head of the Ugandan Revenue Authority, said the failure of the levy to raise the funds the government has hoped for was due to people using wireless networks and virtual private networks to avoid the daily tax of around $0.05.

FILE - This March 28, 2018, file photo shows a Facebook logo at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. A controversial social media tax introduced in Uganda last year has raised just 17 percent of the expected revenue, the BBC reported. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)


-  African News Agency (ANA)