University student sues Museveni for blocking him on Twitter
A Ugandan student at Harvard University has petitioned the High Court in Kampala seeking to quash a decision by President Yoweri Museveni to block him on Twitter.
In the suit lodged at a Kampala court on Monday, Hillary Seguya wants a declaration that the decision by the President to block him from accessing his Twitter account infringes on his right against discrimination guaranteed in the country’s Constitution.
He also wants a permanent injunction restraining government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo and the Police Director of Political Commissariat Asan Kasingye from blocking him on their Twitter handles.
In the suit, the Attorney General (AG), who is a chief government legal adviser, is a respondent but Museveni, Kasingye, and Opondo are not.
Seguya contends the trio’s Twitter accounts are used as public forums to disseminate information relating to the activities of their public offices in their official capacities and to get feedback from citizens.
“As a Ugandan citizen living abroad, I am only capable of getting information relating to country’s governance and communicate to the respective officers including the President through their respective Twitter handles,” Seguya contends.
He claims to have been blocked by President Museveni on July 30 from following, viewing, contacting, replaying, liking, tagging and retweeting the tweets on his handle without notice.
The action comes a month after US President Donald Trump was sued over blocking American citizens on Twitter in a case he ultimately lost.
Court found that Trump’s Twitter account is a public forum and that he cannot block his critics from reading his tweets or participating in the forum because he merely dislikes them or their ideas.
Closer to home, President Uhuru Kenyatta has recently opted out of Twitter and Facebook altogether with State House spokesperson Kanze Dena later explaining that the president was driven off social media by continuous tirade by critics on his timelines.