One of the challenges of the ministry is that some stakeholders have not fully appreciated the importance of the mandate of this ministry
The former Deputy Lord Mayor of Kampala, Sarah Kanyike, has finally settled in as new state minister for disabilities and elderly at the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development.
Kanyike, who was first named director for gender, community service and production at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), was later appointed to the ministerial position.
Speaking at the ceremony as she assumed office on Wednesday, Kanyike said, with her background as a teacher, she is ready to work with the technical team.
"I am an open person who is ready to work with you I am a minister, but cannot know everything; it is you the technical people to support me," she said.
Kanyike said she belongs to the Democratic Party, but works with every party and that is why the President appointed her.
"The differences in political parties and colours come as a by the way, but all that the people want is service delivery. And that is exactly what I want us to work together to achieve," she added.
"Therefore, I call for your support, advising me and I am ready to learn from you. I am an easy person and my office will be open to everyone," she said.
James Ebitu, the acting permanent secretary, informed Kanyike that as a Minister of State for Disability and Elderly, she has joined a team of four other ministers who are serving in different, but complementary dockets in this ministry.
This includes Minister Frank Tumwebaze and state ministers Mwesigwa Rukutana, Peace Mutuuzo and Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi.
Ebitu said one of the challenges of the ministry is that some stakeholders have not fully appreciated the importance of the mandate of this ministry, especially in regard to being a frontrunner, and sensitisation of communities for effective uptake of all programmes under the various sectors.
He said this manifests in the limited resource allocation for the critical activities of the ministry and sector.
Kanyike was handed a string of instruments, including an official ministerial vehicle for the smooth execution of her duties.
Ebitu pledged that the technical team was ready to support her in ensuring that she delivers on the tasks assigned to her by the President in fulfilment of the social contract that the NRM government has with the people of Uganda.
Kanyike extended her appreciation to President Museveni for recognising her contribution and assigning her to a new position.
Among the key programmes that Kanyike will oversee include ‘Expanding Social Protection' under which older persons above 80 years receive a monthly stipend of sh25,000 as special grants for persons with disabilities and a host of legal and policy frameworks for the two interest groups.