The International Day for Older Persons celebrations got underway Thursday at State House Entebbe convened under the theme “Upholding the rights of Older persons during COVID-19 Pandemic: A call for action”.
The current life expectancy for Uganda in 2020 is 63.41 years, a 0.51% increase from 2019.
Speaking at the event, President Museveni noted that many deaths in elder persons are attributable to smoking and consumption of alcohol.
To help mitigate risk factors that are located with older people, Museveni says it is important for National Council for Elderly Persons to take into consideration, the sensitisatisation of elders on lifestyle factors such as alcohol use, poor diet.
On the representation of senior citizens voice in Parliament, Museveni noted that it will bridge the information gap of older person’s views, interests, and opinions.
“In Africa, people die early and we say God has called them. My question is why does God love calling Africans. Why does he call Japanese at 79? I think it’s Satan calling Africans,” he said.
“If we had not gone the affirmative action route and allocated special seats for women in Parliament, we would perhaps still have only 14 female MPs. The same applies to the disabled, youth, UPDF, workers and now we are looking at the Elders.”
“I started writing the Runyankore/Rukiga dictionary about 15 years ago. My father who was in his 80s helped me write it. If he had died in his 60s, he would not have helped me. We therefore need to work towards prolonging our elders’ lives”.
Museveni said he was glad that the elderly will be represented in Uganda’s next Parliament, as a special interest group.
This is yet another demonstration that Uganda is the most democratic country in the world, he noted.
“I get surprised when I hear some people talking about democracy in the world,” Museveni said.
He added: “There is no country more democratic than Uganda.”