Cabinet recently approved the creation of five seats for people representing the elderly in Parliament
The former minister for the elderly and the disabled, Sulaiman Kyebakoze Madada, has said that elderly persons are in urgent need of representation in Parliament because they are also a marginalised group.
This follows Cabinet's approval of the creation of five seats for people representing the elderly in Parliament which created mixed reactions in the public.
Cabinet created these seats on the background that the elderly constitute over 1.6m Ugandans and therefore require direct representation in Parliament.
Madada who was appearing on Urban TV's Cross Fire talk show on Saturday hosted by Paul Busharizi said that the elderly need a specific voice.
"The justification here and most important is that you need people who understand and who have the full time to study challenges facing older persons," Madada said.
Dan Mugarura the chairman of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) who also featured on the show, however, objected to the move saying that it will set a bad precedent for every group to ask for a slot in Parliament.
"So maybe we should also look at those people in the country who really have the wrath of existence like the widows like the orphans so that we need five representatives for the widows and five for orphans," Mugarura said.
Rama Omonya the program adviser at the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) supported the move for the slots because not every elderly person represents the interests of the elderly.
"You have many elderly persons in Parliament and Cabinet but why aren't they articulating or moving policies that help elderly people at the pace that is required?" Omonya asked.
2021 general elections
The issue of how political parties are organising for the ‘scientific' polls and the issue of high profile defection were also discussed on the show.
Last week, Jinja Municipality East MP Paul Mwiru defected from the opposition FDC and joined ANT together with the party's independent leaning Gerald Karuhanga, who is also the Ntungamo Municipality MP.
Mugarura said the moves are aimed at having equitable representation at all administrative levels across the country.
"We are not looking at ourselves as forces of change, we are looking at building alternative policy management, principles and structures that should attract more people to us than just saying defiance," Mugarura explained.
"Our friends from ANT, whatever their numbers who have left, whatever the caliber of the leaders that have left, I want to assure listeners and viewers that this is not going to cause FDC to die, the FDC is going to grow from strength to strength," FDC president Patrick Oboi Amuriat, who joined the conversation via phone, said.
"In any democracy, people will have differences in how to cause change and it is health," Omonya said.
Madada who is also an aspirant for the Bbaale County seat in Kayunga district said that Ugandan parties have no ideologies which eventually causes the defections.
"Until people appreciate what multi-party politics means; you have programs, ideologies, policies there will be a lot of chaos," Madada said.