Elderly Legislators Aimed at Fulfilling Museveni’s Selfish Interests-Fr. Gaetano
By Richard Akandwanaho
The Vice Chairman of Kick Corruption out of Uganda Rev Fr Gaetano Batanyenda has said that the cabinet’s approval of 5 Parliamentary Representatives for the elderly is a selfish move, only aimed at expanding President Museveni’s Parliamentary support.
Early this week, Cabinet approved the elderly, as a special interest group to have five (5) Parliamentary representatives. This was revealed by the Minister for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Judith Nabakooba, who also doubles as the cabinet spokesperson. In a statement accessed by our reporter, the 5 slots according to Nabakooba, will help to strengthen inclusive representation of all special interest groups in Parliament.
The Equal Opportunities Act of 2007 provides for equal rights of all vulnerable groups, including older persons and according to Nabakooba, the review of the representation of older persons in Parliament as a special interest group is aimed at protecting the rights of older persons in accordance with this act. Until now, Parliament has representations of four special interests that include the army, youth, workers and people living with disabilities.
Speaking to our reporter on phone, Fr Batanyenda wondered how the cabinet would prioritize creating more Parliamentary seats for the Elderly when there are very many legislators in the parliament in the elderly age bracket who could still represent the concerns of the elderly to Parliament.
Fr Batanyenda who is also the Chairperson of Kigezi Inter religious council said that increasing the number of representatives in the Parliament is not a must that people’s concerns shall be fully represented.
He noted that the cabinet could be creating the posts only as a reward to some specified people who are more likely to be subscribing to the ruling National Resistance Movement thus increasing Museveni’s support in the Parliament.
Fr Batanyenda added that if the government found it too important to create more parliamentary seats, it should instead have focused on the Youths who constitute at least 75 percent of Uganda’s population and have many challenges that need clear representation.