Councilors Should Take Oath In Their Local Languages.
Written by Tumwesigye Abdu on May 19, 2021
Every after general elections in Uganda we have the swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected leaders on different leadership levels, it’s in regard I think to assure electorates who are believers in the Almighty God that their leader has sworn in the name of God to serve them diligently, then what about the disbelievers? that is a topic of another day.
However, over years my attention has been drawn to the language these leaders use while swearing-in, it’s not a point of discussion that the country’s official language is English and so every official activity should be handled in English, but something beats my understanding, councilors, chairpersons, mayors of municipal, town and division councils on additional to district and city councilors are not required to table any academic document to stand for those posts as passed by parliament in the Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 4th, August 2020 yet are expected to take their oaths in English which is majorly toughed and practiced in academic circles, why?
For other leaders from the president, members of parliament, district chairperson and city mayors who are required to forward their academic papers while standing for those positions, its quite normal to ask them to take oaths in English, simply because a person that entered at least any secondary school can utter out those words in the oath and failure to do so its surely individual failure, but a person who was not asked to present any academic document then why he or she is stressed to take an oath in the adopted language.
To my amazement, it’s from these elected councilors that the speaker is elected, the major role of the speaker is to moderate council sittings and council sittings are conducted in English expect with permission from the speaker to deliberate in a local language, then from seemingly uneducated councilors how can they get a speaker who is going to direct council sittings in English?
I think, if we want all our leaders to take oaths in English as our official language, of course, they should all be required to present minimum academic documents may be an O-level certificate, this way we can be sure that a person will not face any difficulty in taking their oaths in the would-be foreign language but the country’s official language. If that looks near to impossible, then let us allow these leaders who do not present papers while standing for those seats to take their oaths in their local languages.
Tumwesigye Abdu is a writer, reporter and News Anchor at 97.7 Record FM.