By Hanning Mbabazi
Kabarole: Speaker of Parliament Rt.Hon.Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has reprimanded the Minister of Justice and constitutional and the Attorney General for having refused to obey her directive to formally present electoral reforms for review as the nation heads for the 2021 General Elections.
In the elders’ meeting Organized by Mrs. Sylvia Rwabogwo the Kabarole District Woman Legislator on 7 July, the Speaker said, she had given the Justice Minister and Attorney General up to April 2019 to table the electoral reforms in Parliament for amendment but they failed to comply with the directive.
“Since the start of first session of 10th Parliament, I have been battling with Minister of Justice and Attorney General to table electoral reforms in Parliament to be amended in time to (among others) consider elderly people be represented in Parliament and I had given them ultimatum up to April this year but they have failed to comply. I will continue putting them on pressure until they deliver,” Kadaga said
At the same event in Kabarole District, the Elderly through the Kabarole District Chairman for Elderly Persons Mr Amos Manyiraho requested Government to consider them among the special interest groups such as youth, workers and People with Disabilities (PWDs), who are represented in Parliament. Manyiraho also requested Government to provide adequate drugs for elderly people in all health facilities and considering rolling out the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) programme countrywide and put the minimum age of beneficiaries at 60 years.
Kadaga responded that issues affecting the elderly in Uganda should be handled by the State Minister for the Elderly persons but the post is still vacant. She promised to remind President Museveni to consider filling the post.
However, she promised to intervene Government through the Ministry of Health to consider putting up special wards for elderly people in all health centers plus ensuring there is enough and skilled health workers to attend them. “For the last 15 years, we have been asking government to put up general medical insurance but all in vain and I have instructed the Parliamentary Committee on Health to draft the Bill to be represented in Parliament,” Kadaga said.
It should be noted that In June 2016 the Parliamentary vetting committee, chaired by the Speaker refused to approve the appointment of Mrs. Adrian Tibaleka whom the President had named as State minister for Elderly and People with Disabilities.
MP Rwabwogo urged government to address concerns of the elderly.
Kadaga commissioned a Sacco for the elderly in Kabarole and their association where she contributed Shs5m.