KAMPALA, UGANDA: In a dramatic turn of events, the Makindye Magistrate’s court in Kampala has ordered a WhatsApp group administrator to reinstate a member who was reportedly ejected from the forum without his consent.
The ruling was made on Monday, June 19 by the Acting Senior Grade One Magistrate, Mr Igga Adiru who ordered Allan Asinguza (the Admin) to add back Mr Herbert Baitwababo to the “BUYANJA MY 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.
Mr Baitwababo (the complainant) argued that Mr Asinguza created a WhatsApp group for people from Buyanja Sub-county, which was named ‘BUYANJA MY ROOTS’ whose purpose was for a social contribution towards charity works, condolences, and 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 told court 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 a 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 by issuing an 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.