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President Commends UK, Ireland

Saturday, 01st October 2016
President Yoweri Museveni has commended the British and the Irish governments for funding older persons programmes in the country to the tune of Shs.300 billion in 5 years alongside the Government of Uganda which has released Shs.149 billion during the same period.
The President was presiding over the commemoration of the International Day for Older Persons that took place today at Bishop Flynn Secondary School in Pader district, Northern Uganda. The celebrations ran under the theme “Act Now; Take a Stand Against Discrimination of Older Persons.”
The President used the occasion and launched a Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE) Programme in Pader district. Uganda first observed and commemorated the day in 1999 focusing on the recognition of the contributions made by older persons. The occasion was first observed worldwide in 1991.
The occasion was mainly characterized by the ‘oldies’ musical tunes and traditional music at which Older Persons were able to take to the floor with joy as well as medical examinations and treatment of ailments that challenge the elderly persons.
President Museveni said that initially, the Government did not fund older persons programmes because there was strong need to lay a strong foundation for the country to create peaceful environment, building infrastructure such as roads, electricity water, health systems, schools and railway, among others.
“The available money from development partners and the Government of Uganda to cater for the elderly, is not enough as the Government has to prioritize the running of national development projects, like roads on which Shs.3,800 billion is spent in one year,” he observed.
The President, however, gave assurances that the Government is fully committed to its duty of ensuring that the rights of the elderly are protected and not usurped. He stressed that impatience in planning is not good adding that the elderly must be part of the whole national planning. He said that the Government is very much aware of the affirmative action of the elderly who currently number 1.3 million in the country.
“It is good that the older persons council is formed. We shall fight social dislocation caused by the irresponsibly youthful family members who fight for, grab or mismanage the property of the ageing parents,” he said.
President Museveni who travelled by road from Kampala to Pader district, expressed happiness that the people of Northern Uganda have constructed good residential and commercial premises. He, therefore, urged them to embark on commercial agriculture to root for acquisition of household income.
In her remarks, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Affairs, Hon. Janat Mukwaya, observed that the marking of the older persons day in the country is brings out the essence for government and stakeholders to take stock of what has been achieved, the gaps and possible solutions.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, Ministers, the British High Commissioner to Uganda, Blackburne, MPs, cultural leaders and the clergy, attended the celebrations. ENDS