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Harvard student sues Ugandan gov’t officials for blocking him on Twitter

FILE PHOTO: President Museveni

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A Ugandan student at Harvard University has dragged the Attorney General to court seeking a declaration that he was illegally blocked from microblogging and social networking site; twitter by president Yoweri Museveni’s handlers.

The student identified as Seguya Hillary Innocent Taylor using twitter handle @HillaryTaylorVI was blocked from accessing president Yoweri Museveni’s handle @KagutaMuseveni, on July 20, 2019. He was days later blocked by Government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo (@OfwonoOpondo) and most recently on August 8, by Assistant Inspector General of Police Asan Kasingye (@Akasingye).

He is suing the three leaders jointly in a suit filed through his acting recognized agent Male Mabirizi and seeking for a permanent injunction stopping the said government leaders from ever blocking him. Seguya says that the decision to block him was unreasonable and improper since he was never given notice.

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 him so much to the extent that he wished he can replace Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni due to his performance. “I wish we could exchange you for our Ugandan president. He’s a dictator – Yoweri Museveni – he has been in power for 33 years and we are telling him enough is enough,” Seguya said.

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.

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.   He adds that blocking him tantamount to political persecution beyond what is acceptable and demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society.

Seguya says that the twitter handles by the three government officials are used to disseminate information relating to the activities of their offices and to get feedback from citizens, and would probably benefit him and other members of the diaspora.

The Attorney General has been summoned to file his defence before the matter is allocated to the Judge who will be fixing it for hearing.



One comment

  1. Free speech and is there an echo here with Trump?

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