In the same suit, Seguya the owner of the Twitter handle; @HillaryTaylorVI, also challenges Kasingye, the political commissar in Uganda police force and government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo for blocking him from accessing their respective Twitter handles @Akasingye and @OfwonoOpondo respectively.
The student of International Relations was blocked four months after openly telling Ghanaian President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo that he had wanted to exchange him for Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. The Ghanaian leader had just made a presentation on Pan-Africanism to a group of students at Harvard University in the United States.
Seguya said he admires Nana so much to the extent that he wished he could replace the Ugandan president due to his performance.
It is not clear why the three leaders blocked him, months after the statements. However, Seguya contends blocking him infringes on his right against discrimination as enshrined in the Constitution as well as his constitutional freedom of speech, expression, freedom of thought, conscience and belief.
Through his lawyer Male Mabirizi, Seguya argued that the three Twitter handles were helping Ugandans in the diaspora to get information and feedback from the state actors. The student alleges that he has been denied a right to participate in the affairs of the government and to participate in peaceful activities to influence the policies of the government which are guaranteed in the Ugandan Constitution.
“My account is for private/personal interest such as family, football, religion sharing jokes and at times, police-related matters but at a personal level like any other Ugandan citizen” reads the affidavit in part.
Kasingye says his Twitter profile shows clearly that his views are not necessarily those of the Uganda police force and neither do they represent his official position in the force.
He also says that he has been advised by his lawyers in the Attorney General’s chambers that Seguya can get information about Uganda or President Museveni via State House on their Twitter handle @StateHouseUg and different newspaper handles on Twitter and television live streaming among other options.
He also said that the same information can be obtained from the Uganda Media Centre via its official Twitter handle @ugandamediacent as well as its website.
“I have been advised by the attorneys from the Attorney General’s Chambers whose advice I verily believe to be true that the twitter handles @KagutaMuseveni and @OfwonoOpondo are private twitter handles and not for the offices they hold”, the affidavit adds.
He asked the court to dismiss Seguya’s application arguing that he (Kasingye) enjoys the constitutional right to decide who to associate with on his private or personal account. The court is yet to start hearing the matter.