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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Five MP Seats for Uganda’s Elderly Approved

Uganda’s cabinet has approved five parliamentary seats for the elderly, its spokesperson Judith Nabakooba has confirmed.

Also ICT and national guidance minister, Nabakooba said cabinet agreed that as a special interest group, the elderly needed representation in parliament.

Various policies and laws, such as the Equal Opportunities Act of 2007, list the elderly as vulnerable and thus needing special attention.

It is the Equal Opportunities Act of 2007 cabinet hinged on to approve the five MP slots for almost 1.5 older persons.

“It would therefore be proper to have the elderly, who in this bracket are 60 years of age and above have representation,” said Nabakooba.

She explained that this would “provide a levelled platform for discussion of needs and concerns of older persons.”

It will also enhance good governance through inclusive representation of all special interest groups, she continued.

The minister further noted that government would work out a model to involve this special interest group in decision making right from village level.

Before the approval of these parliamentary seats, representation of the elderly stopped at district level.

Yet other special interest groups like women, the youth and persons with disabilities (PwDs) had representatives in parliament.

“This therefore creates a gap in information flow as older persons’ views, interests and opinions are not adequately represented in Parliament unlike other special interest groups.”

Uganda’s 11th parliament will have over 459 MPs, including ex-officio members, as new cities will send representatives.

Currently, the 459 members include 296 representatives from constituencies, 122 for women, 10 for UPDF and 16 ex-officio members.

The youth, workers and PwDs have five representatives, each.

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