The student identified as Seguya Hillary Innocent Taylor who uses twitter handle @HillaryTaylorVI told the court that he was blocked from accessing President Yoweri Museveni’s handle @KagutaMuseveni, on July 20, 2019.
Seguya Hillary Innocent Taylor the student who dragged the three officials to court
The High Court in Kampala has
dismissed a case in which a Harvard University Student sued three government
officials who had blocked him from following them on Twitter.
The student identified as Seguya
Hillary Innocent Taylor who uses twitter handle @HillaryTaylorVI told the court
that he was blocked from accessing President Yoweri Museveni’s handle @KagutaMuseveni,
on July 20, 2019. Days later, he was blocked by @OfwonoOpondo, a handle owned
by the government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo and @Akasingye, owned by the Police Political Commissar Asan Kasingye.
Sseguya was blocked four months
after he had openly told the Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo that he wanted
to exchange him for Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. Addo had just presented
a paper on Pan-Africanism to a group of students at Harvard University, where,
at the time, Sseguya was pursuing his Master’s Degree in International
But he was offended by the
actions of those who blocked him and challenged them in the courts of law.
Seguya insisted that by blocking him, the three officials were denying him a
right to information access because their handles were often used to
disseminate important government information, which he would miss if he was not
Seguya made reference to a 2017 case
filed in the United States against President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump. In
the judgement then, the federal court in New York City held that Trump is
violating the U.S. Constitution by preventing certain Americans from viewing
his tweets on @realDonaldTrump.
In the Ugandan case, one of the defendants
Asan Kasingye said that the handles were personal and were never used for
official government business. Kasingye said that he was using his account for
fun and that official information regarding Police activities is shared through
the police handle; @PoliceUg.
The head of the civil division of
the High Court, Justice Andrew Bashaija declared that there was no illegality
in blocking Seguya because the said handles are personal and the owners have
the freedom to choose their followers. He advised Seguya to instead follow @PoliceUg,
@UgandaMediaCent for the Media Centre which is headed by Ofwono Opondo and @StateHouseUg
for information from the State House.
He dismissed the application with
costs to the government of Uganda.