KAMPALA – Cabinet has approved five more slots in Parliament to be occupied by the elderly as a special interest group.
Information Minister Judith Nabakooba, in a statement, said the move was made after a review of The Equal Opportunities Act of 2007, which recognises the older persons as a special interest group.
“It would therefore be proper to have the elderly, who in this bracket are 60 years of age and above have representation to provide a levelled platform for discussion of needs and concerns of older persons. And also enhance good governance through inclusive representation of all special interest groups,” Ms Nabakooba said.
Ms Nabakooba said whereas the eldery in Uganda contribute immensely to the creation of wealth, support and care of families, their representation has been stopping at the district.
“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,” she said.
The four special interest groups currently represented in Parliament are the army, youth, workers and people living with disabilities.
The development comes two weeks after government approved the creation of six new counties and nine Constituencies all expected to vote in Members of Parliament in the next general elections.
The 15 MPs will add to the 15 others that will be voted in the new cities that were approved by Parliament recently whereas 13 new districts that became 12 new districts that became operational in Financial years 2018/21, 2019/2019 and Terego District that starts on July 1 will also be sending in Woman MPs in February next year. Each of the 15 new cities that will be operationalised in a phased manner will be represented by two MPs hence an addition one to that direct representative of those former Municipalities.
Currently, there are 461 MPs including the ex-officios in the 10th Parliament and the creation of new districts, cities and counties will yield about 52 more MPs. Currently, Parliament is constructing a new chamber that is supposed to accommodate 600 MPs.