Case of Stanbic Bank Ug Ltd V Ssenyonjo Moses Ca No. 147 Of 2015; CORAM; Kenneth Kakuru, Stephen Musota, Christopher Madrama.

The judgment was delivered on 29th March 2019.

This was an appeal against a decision by Hon Justice Henry Peter Adonyo in which he held that the contract, the subject matter of the suit was illegal on account of breach of the illiterates Protection Act. Pursuant to the finding, he held that the lease agreement was illegal and unenforceable.

The justices of the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the decision stating that the respondents had schooled up to primary 3 and primary 4 respectively and the expression illiterate does not mean unable to understand English language but it means unable to read and write in that language. The respondents were not sufficiently informed about the contents of the documents they executed. The document was filled for the respondents however there was no indication that the document was translated.

Court noted that the duty is on the person who writes the name of the illiterate or who writes a document on behalf of the illiterate to prove that the contents were understood. The Illiterates Protection Act requires the translator to write his full name and address. Section 4 further makes it an offence for the writer of a document or witness to the signature of the illiterate not to write his full name and address. This is meant to protect the illiterate from endorsing a document he or she does not understand. The individual has a freedom to decide what he will be bound by.