LUSAKA, (Xinhua) --
Zambia’s journalists and bloggers on Wednesday
challenged the government’s decision to introduce a tax on
internet calls, saying it will be double taxation.
On Monday, the
cabinet approved the introduction of a charge on online phone
The Media Institute
of Southern Africa, Zambia, and the Bloggers of Zambia said the
proposed levy is a form of double and punitive taxation and
taxing individual users in lieu of the social media companies
that are the ones actually making money.
“We are concerned
about this proposal because it falls within a pattern of (the)
government to clamp down on online expression as we have noted
of late,” the two organizations said in a joint statement.
It is a major threat
to freedom of expression, access to information, media rights,
freedom of assembly online and an affront to the enjoyment of
digital rights, they said.
The proposed tariff
is also a threat to entrepreneurship and innovation as many
youths and other citizens are using internet platforms to
advance their socio-economic activities, they added.
The government has
defended its decision to introduce the tax, saying it is
important for the sustainability of the telecommunications