Judiciary warns staff against using pseudo names on WhatsApp

New season. Judicial officers led by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe (centre) mark the new law year at the High Court in Kampala in 2016. FILE PHOTO

Judicial officers have been barred from using pseudo names on their WhatsApp group in the new rules to guide the use and operation of social media.
The officers and staff were given a seven-day ultimatum to implement the directive contained in a memo following a senior management meeting this week.
“For members who may have challenges editing their WhatsApp names, please contact a Judiciary IT or communications staff at your station for assistance,” the notice reads in part.
The memo was in line with the January 2019 Annual Judges Conference Resolution prohibiting the use of pseudo names on WhatsApp groups.
Mr Solomon Muyita, the Judiciary senior communications officer, confirmed the development.
“This is a community of senior citizens and they need to know the people they are communicating with,” Mr Muyita said. “The judges feel comfortable when dealing with people they know. We have been waiting for people to change since January and it is now November. It is the reason the decision was taken,” he added.
However, some staff members have expressed skepticism over the move, saying it infringes on their freedom of association, privacy and expression.
“That WhatsApp group was established about two years ago but we are wondering why the directive is coming up now? They only want to reprimand those people posting issues they consider negative,” a staff, who preferred anonymity, said.


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