KAMPALA – While meeting the NRM party caucus on Sunday, President Yoweri Museveni urged them to unanimously back him to further increase the number of ministers from 79 to 80.
Museveni told them that he would soon present his list of 80 ministers both cabinet and state which he did later on Tuesday evening.
Debating the case on Thursday, Parliament approved the creation of the position of a state minister for the elderly.
The motion moved by West Budama North Member of Parliament (MP), Fox Odoi, drew mixed reactions from legislators where the opposition members tried to reject but in vein.
Among others, the motion was seconded and supported by FDC’s Cecilia Ogwal and former Leader of Opposition.
“Many old people die before reaching the age of 80. The age for accessing support for the elderly should be reduced to 60,’’ she said.
Just like the public expected, majority of the ruling NRM party members yelled affirmatively after Speaker Jacob Oulanyah had called for voting
The Leader of Opposition in parliament, Mathias Mpuga argued that elderly people do not need a minister but services that will help them cope with challenges of old age.
“I don’t think they need political mainstreaming. Very soon I will be moving a motion for parliament to reconsider the representation of special interest groups,” Mpuga said.
Kilak South MP Gilbert Olanya said: “These ministers cannot take decisions themselves as they have to wait for the president. Why do we need 80 ministers?”
Anthony Akol, the Kilak North MP said an increase further strains the economy.
“This must be the time we should be looking at lessening the cost of administration instead of increasing the number of ministers. The 11th parliament should do things differently,” he said.
John Baptist Nambeshe, the opposition chief whip in parliament tasked legislators to critically examine the impact of growing the number of ministers.