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Seya denied chance to testify in Luganda in MTN case

Hajji NasserIt was a funfilled moment at the Commercial Court in Kampala when former Kampala Mayor Hajji Nasser Ntege Sebaggala a.k.a. Seya appeared to testify in a case he filed against MTN Uganda. Seya is seeking a Shs 8b settlement from the telecom company for using his voice clips as call back ringtones without his consent.

The case arose in July 2012 when Seya dragged MTN to court for unlawfully using his voice recording in various ringtones. The voice recordings in contention, were extracted from oral statements made by Seya in 2011 at Parliament during his vetting process, while he was a ministerial nominee.

However, there was drama in court on Monday when Seya stood up and requested Commercial Court judge Christopher Madrama to allow him deliver his testimony in Luganda. The courtroom couldn’t resist but to laugh their lungs out as Seya explained that Luganda was a language he was more conversant with.

Unfortunately, the judge was not shaken by Seya’s request that turned out as more of a comical display; he (the judge) insisted that Seya should testify in English, “the language of court!” The judge insisted that where Seya would meet resistance, an interpreter would be sought.

Sebaggala, who had initially demanded Shs35b, which he said to have arrived at after costing Shs500 per download of the 10 million MTN subscribers, said he had decided to ask for a more modest sum of Shs8b from the telecom company.
The judge adjourned the case to October 14, when it will be up for hearing.

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