WhatsApp group admin sued for removing member without consent, Court orders his return to group

According to reports, Herbert Baitwababo, a man from Uganda, expressed relief after a court ordered his reinstatement into a WhatsApp group. He had been ejected from the group by the admin for raising questions about the group’s financial management.

The court deemed his removal from the WhatsApp group as a violation of his freedom of association and consequently ordered the admin to re-add him. Herbert had taken legal action against the WhatsApp admin for expelling him from the online forum.

The case was heard in Kampala, as reported by livenowafrica. The acting Senior Grade One Magistrate at Makindye Magistrate’s Court, Mr. Igga Adiru, issued the order to reinstate Herbert.

The court ruling specifically directed the group administrator, Allan Asinguza, to add Herbert Baitwababo back as a member of the WhatsApp group. The order also included a permanent injunction, preventing the respondent and his agents from infringing upon the applicant’s right to association.

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In his application, Mr. Baitwababo highlighted that the WhatsApp group was initially created by Mr. Asinguza for individuals from Buyanja Sub-county, with the purpose of social contributions towards charitable works, condolences, and support for victims of disasters.

The group members later formed an association that required a subscription fee of Shs30,000, which Mr. Baitwababo duly paid to become a registered member. All communication and matters related to the association were conducted through the WhatsApp group.

However, on May 16, 2023, Mr. Baitwababo sent a letter to Mr. Asinguza, requesting documentation regarding the management of the group, an audit report, and accountability for the funds collected since its formation in 2017.

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In response to the letter, Mr. Asinguza removed Mr. Baitwababo from the WhatsApp group on May 17, disregarding his right to association and resulting in unjust enrichment. Seeking protection and justice, Mr. Baitwababo approached the court to order Mr. Asinguza to permanently reinstate him in the group and prevent further expulsions.

The court ruling aims to rectify the unjust actions taken against Mr. Baitwababo, ensuring that his right to association is respected and protected.

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