Drama In Court As MP Katongole Asks For Punjabi Translator

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In short
There was drama at the High Court in Kampala today after Rubaga North MP Singh Marwaha Katongole asked court to get for him a Punjabi translator, claiming that he knows neither English nor Luganda.

There was drama at the High Court in Kampala today after Rubaga North MP Singh Marwaha Katongole asked court to get for him a Punjabi translator, claiming that he knows neither English nor Luganda.
 
Punjabi is a major language spoken in the Punjab province in Northwestern India.
 
Katongole together with the electoral commission were dragged to court by former journalist, Moses Kasibante, who claimed that he was robbed of victory in the Rubaga North parliamentary elections. Kasibante’s victory in the February 2011 polls was overturned in a subsequent vote recount that gave Katongole victory.
 
Last week, Katongole got new lawyers and said he was ready to proceed with the case after first storming out of court accusing Justice Kibuuka Musoke of being compromised. His first lawyers in the case, Dr. James Akampumuza and Simon Tendo quit the case on 16th August without giving reasons. The two were replaced by David Bwambale and Denis Musede of Bwambale, Musede and Company Advocates, who filed a notice in court last week, showing that they will be taking over the case to its conclusion.

Today, the embattled legislator turned up at court with six sworn affidavits which took 35 minutes to read.
 
Upon completing reading the affidavits, he was asked to take the stand. Katongole instead asked court to get him a Punjabi translator, arguing that it is the only language he fully understands.
 
This created mixed reactions from the petitioner’s lawyers, with Medard Sseggona standing up and saying it is another delaying tactic from the respondent. Katongole has previously been accused of coming up with excuses to delay the petition. Sseggona also gave an example of Katongole’s actions when he questioned the integrity of the presiding judge before storming out of court.
 
Justice Kibuuka Musoke told Katongole to either make up his mind and testify in English, or court would proceed without the legislator’s testimony. The judge adjourned the proceedings for 15 minutes to allow Katongole to decide.
 
But Katongole told the judge, in English, that it would be a disservice to force him to answer in a language he is not safe and comfortable with.
 
Justice Musoke hit back that court will not airlift someone from India to come and translate for the MP.
 
After 15 minutes, court resumed and Katongole began testifying through a Luganda translator, even though he had earlier said he didn’t understand Luganda.

Hearing is ongoing.