1. VPNs still work fine (I'm using one right now, though its one I installed on a digitalocean instance - it's possible those receiving lots of traffic have now been blocked).
2. This tax is unaffordable for many Ugandans (it would be about 5% of the average wage here). Whatsapp is very popular here and this has impacted everybody I know. Most people I've talked to are using a free VPN (they aren't aware of the risks here).
I haven't done much analysis of the blocking yet but I will be doing a more in-depth post about this whole debacle in a few days.
The mobile providers are:
- Africell (was orange)
- Uganda Telecom
Full disclosure: I’m part of the team that builds it.