By Wetondo Denis Julius
Government of Uganda under Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development is going to reduce the age of elders benefiting from elderly monthly grant (SAGE) starting next Financial Year 2021/2022.
Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) Programme in Uganda was introduced in Uganda to benefit the Senior Citizens who are 80 years and above.
This was revealed yesterday 16th September 2021 by Dominic Mafabi Gidudu, the Minister of State in the Gender Ministry in charge of the Elderly.
Gidudu who is also the Male MP representing elders in eastern region made the revelation while launching the payment of elderly grants in eastern region of this financial year.
Government has been paying 25,000/= monthly to each elder above 80 years of age country wide to support their livelihood.
Mafabi added that MPs representing elders talked to the President who agreed that government should starting next financial year 2021/2022 lower the age of beneficiaries from 80 to 70 years. He said this was after receiving lots of complaints from some elders that government has forgotten about them.
The Minister explained that government had taken 8 months without paying the elders due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have however now started payments of all arrears countrywide,” he revealed.
John Wamulugwa, the Sironko district chairperson of elders urged the Minister to ask government to consider elders in the coming parish model program since they have been left out.
He adds that elders also face challenges like poverty which calls for government to involve them in its programs like other Ugandans.
Rachael Nandelenge, the Sironko District Senior Community Development Officer also says that the SAGE money changed lives of elders by opening small businesses, and buying basic needs.