WHATSAPP GROUP ROW SPILLS INTO COURT
KAMPALA. – A court in Uganda’s Makindye division recently issued orders to the administrator of a WhatsApp group to reinstate a member who had previously been ejected from the group.
The directive followed an application by one Herbert Baitwababo, who went to court, challenging his ejection from the ‘Buyanja My Roots’ WhatsApp group by its administrator, Allan Asinguza.
According to the Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor, Baitwababo told the court that the WhatsApp group for their Buyanja sub-county in Rukungiri district was formed to contribute to charity works, offer condolences and support to people in the area and that each member was required to pay Sh.30,000 as membership fee.
“As members of the said WhatsApp group, we developed an idea of starting an association and agreed that one had to pay Sh.30,000 only to subscribe for the membership and as such, I fully registered,” read part of Mr Baitwababo’s affidavit.
“All communication and matters concerning the association were conveyed through the WhatsApp group,” he added.
Mr Baitwababo said in his affidavit that trouble started when he asked Asinguza about the process that allowed them to manage the group’s affairs as well as an audit report and accountability for funds collected since 2017 when the group was formed.
The administrator consequently removed Baitwababo from the WhatsApp group on May 17, 2023, prompting him to rush to court for redress.
In its Monday ruling, the court also stopped any other administrator of the ‘Buyanja My Roots’ WhatsApp group from ever ejecting Baitwababo since this infringes on his right and freedom of association.
“It is hereby ordered that the applicant be ordered back to the ‘Buyanja My Roots’ WhatsApp group.
“A permanent injunction is also issued restraining the respondent, his agents or his assignees from further infringing on the applicant’s right of association,” the magistrate directed. – Citizen.Digital.