UGANDA: Elderly persons seek representation in Parliament

Speaker Kadaga (R) shares a light moment with Muwebwa and Orach after the meeting
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KAMPALA – Elderly persons have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, seeking representation in Parliament.

In their petition presented on 05 March by the National Council for Older Persons and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), the senior citizens said that they have been marginalised for long.

The Chairperson of the EOC, Sylvia Muwebwa said that older persons deserve space to enable them contribute to the decision making processes, given their knowledge and experience.

“Older persons do not have a voice in Parliament and they cannot therefore, articulate issues that affect them much,” she said.

John Orach, a representative from the National Council for Older Persons said that the senior citizens have been denied the right to equal protection because they do not have MPs.

“On 01 October 2016, during the annual celebrations of the International Day for Older Persons, President Yoweri Museveni granted the wish of older persons to be represented in Parliament and directed the Ministries of Gender, Justice and Constitutional Affairs to initiate the directive, but to date the presidential directive has not been actualised,” Orach said.

Kadaga however, cautioned the elderly against making utterances that their issues have been neglected and that without representation, their issues are not well articulated.

She said that their issues are well represented in Parliament even in the absence of a designated special representative.

“For you to say we have no mandate to speak for you is an insult,” Kadaga said.

She promised to continue advancing issues affecting the elderly in Parliament, adding that she will forward their petition to the President and the Ministry of Justice.

Additional reporting by Parliament of Uganda

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