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Banned WhatApp member sues group admin – Kampala court

A court in Kampala has ordered a local group administrator of the popular centralized instant messaging and voice US app, WhatsApp, to reinstate a member who was reportedly ejected without his consent.

The Acting Senior Grade One Magistrate at Makindye Magistrate’s Court in Kampala, Mr Igga Adiru on Monday ordered Allan Asinguza, who is the respondent in the case to add back Mr Herbert Baitwababo to “BUYANJA ROOTS” Whatsapp group on which he was a member before.

“A permanent injunction doth issue restraining the respondent, his agents and or his assignees from further infringing on the applicant’s right of association. No orders as to costs,” Mr Adiru ruled in the absence of the respondent.

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Mr Baitwababo in support of his application, had stated that Mr Asinguza created a WhatsApp group for people from Buyanja Sub-county, which was named as ‘BUYANJA MY ROOTS’ whose purpose was for social contribution towards charity works, condolences, support to calamity victims.

“As members of the said WhatsApp groups, we developed an idea of starting an association and agreed that one had to pay Shs30,000 only, to subscribe for the membership and as such, I fully registered,” reads in part Mr Baitwababo’s affidavit.

“All communication and matters concerning the association was conveyed through the WhatsApp group,” he added.

Mr Baitwababo further narrated that on May 16, 2023 as a registered member of the aforesaid association, he wrote a letter to Mr Asinguza demanding him to avail the instrument that mandates them to manage the affairs of the group, an audit report and accountability for the monies collected from the registered members since the year 2017 when it was formed.

He states that as the consequence of the letter, Mr Asinguza instead ejected him from the WhatsApp group on May 17 thus his (Asinguza’s) actions were calculated to infringe on his (Baitwababo) right to association and to unjustly enrich themselves.

Mr Baitwababo then asked court for protection through issuance of order directing Mr Asinguza to add him back to the group and a permanent order restraining the respondent from ejecting him from the group of the association in the interest of substantive justice.

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