By Mary Karugaba
OPPOSITION youth members have opposed the Presidentâ€™s proposal to reduce the retirement age to 50 years, saying it will not solve unemployment among the youth.
Addressing the press at Christ the King Church in Kampala, yesterday the youth from the Inter Party Cooperation said if implemented, the Government is likely to lose the technocrats who have vast experience and skills.
Francis Mwijukye, the FDC youth coordinator, said rather than reducing the age, the Government should invest more in sectors such as agriculture, which mostly employ uneducated youth.
It is estimated that every year, about 490,000 youth enter the labour market, yet only 70,000 job opportunities are available. Reducing the retirement age to 50 would create more 30,000 jobs annually, the President argues.
Mwijukye described the proposal as a ploy by politicians to win over the youth for the 2011 general elections.
However, some youth leaders, including representatives to Parliament, have supported the proposal, saying it would reduce unemployment and that maintaining the retirement age at 60 years blocks the progress of the youth in the civil service, especially in terms of promotion.
In a letter to the public service minister, President Yoweri Museveni directed that the retirement age be lowered to 50 years.
The retirement age was at 55 years in the colonial administration era but was raised to 60 after Uganda attained independence in 1962.