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PWDs Want Their Legislative Slots Elevated to 8

People with Disabilities (PWDs) in Uganda have beseeched Government to increase the number of their representatives in Parliament.

This call followed a consultative meeting on July 21 and July 24 2020 to address issues concerning participation of PWDs in politics.

As per section 8 (2) D) of the Parliamentary Elections Act of 2005, PWDs are represented by five Members of Parliament (MPs) out of which one is female.

However, speaking on Wednesday, Dennis Ouma the Forum for Democratic Change’s (FDC) Secretary for PWDs said the number of PWDs legislators is disproportionate quoting the Uganda National Demographic and Household Survey of 2016.

“Uganda has approximately six million PWDS represented by only five MPs. This means that every MP represents at least 1,200,000 people which is way above the quota of 100,000 people per MP as envisaged in the Constitution,” Ouma said.

For purposes of effective representation, Ouma urged concerned authorities to add them at least three more slots in Parliament.

“We wish to call for increased representation of the PWDs in Parliament from the current five to eight with each region (North, East, Central and West).” he urged.

This is not the first time Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are expressing dissatisfaction when it comes to political representation.

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Early this month, Parliament approved the creation of five slots for elderly people, something which did not augur well the youths and workers.

Addressing the press in Fort Portal on July 11 2020, Worker’s MP Arinaitwe Rwakajaara described this as lopesided and unfair.

“We are now like seven or ten million workers across the country. But they are not increasing our seats to at least ten but they are giving these seats to others,” Rwakajaara pointed out.

Despite the counter arguments and criticism, Maxensia Takirambule the Democratic Party (DP) PWD leader says their demands are inexorable.

“We are saying we are a feasible population of more than six million and represented in the whole country by 5 Members of Parliament (MPs) that is unjust to us.

Besides that, these leaders also want the Government to set aside a special Covid-19 fund to cater for PWDs whom they say have been hit hard by the prevailing economic condition.

“Alternatively, a separate food basket should be established to support the PWDs in these hard times. An economic stimulus package for PWDs in Uganda is highly recommended to combat the effects of Covid-19,” the statement reads.

The Press conference was attended by Edward Kyebambe of Justice Forum (JEEMA), Gabriel Kato of National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Christopher Lwanga of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) among many others

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