Government Sued For Failure To Translate Constitution

Clerk helps man get released

Uganda’s 1995 constitution has been in existence for the last 24 years but has never been translated into its 56 indigenous languages.

A concerned magistrate and advocate have sued the government in the High Court of Kampala over alleged failure to translate the constitution into the netizens language, denying its citizens awareness to their rights which have been violated.

“As a result of the above, many Ugandan citizens especially those that cannot comprehend the English language and the illiterates, have been denied an opportunity to be informed of their inherent rights as enshrined in the 1995 Constitution which is written in English.

“Wherefore, the plaintiffs (Mr Kirya and Mr Aboneka), pray that the defendant (Attorney General) has unreasonably and deliberately failed in its duty to cause or to have finished the translation and disseminated of the 1995 constitution into aforementioned various languages to the prejudice of the citizens,” court documents read in part.

According to the petitioners,  Ugandans are entitled to have the Constitution translated and disseminated into their local languages, which hasn’t been done by the government in close to two decades. The government also ignored its obligation to teach the Constitution during their school days from primary level to university.

The duo petitioners now want the court to the government to start translating the Constitution into the local languages which they completed within two years from the date of judgment and customize the translated versions of the constitution for visually impaired persons into usable formats.

They have also demanded a review of the education curriculum of all education, training institutions within one year from the date of judgment, promote the full awareness and its teaching.