April 12, 2013

Ugandans to Access Constitution in Vernacular.

Ugandans will soon access the constitution in vernacular, we have learnt.

Article 4 of the constitution provides that, the state shall promote public awareness of the constitution by translating it into local languages and disseminating widely as possible across the country. Agnes Kisamba, a senior legal officer at the Uganda Law Reform Commission says so far the draft constitution in Langi, Acholi and Luganda languages are complete.

She says copies of the drafts shall then be presented to Makerere University language department for verification and general correction after which they will be taken to print. Kisamba says that the vernacular copies shall then be disseminated to the public in June this year. She explains that the commission has also made plans to have the constitution translated in other local languages, but this will be dependant on the funds allocated to the commission in the next financial year.

The 2012, Uganda Human Rights Report on the state of human rights in the country, recommends that there is need to have the constitution translated into local languages to bring about public awareness of the constitution provisions. According to the report, some chapters of the constitution including provisions of human rights are abused and violated as a result of the failure by the state to popularize such provisions among the members of the public, security agencies and enforcement institutions.

An official at the ministry of justice and constitutional affairs who spoke to redpepper on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media, boasted about the progress made in translating the constitution into vernacular.

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