Mandatory retirement age is unconstitutional

I found René Ndyomugyenyi’s article “Should mandatory retirement be abolished?” in the New Vision recently informative. This is an explosive matter that will expose the hesitant legal fraternity in failing to sort out the glaring inconsistencies in our law books.

But the writer’s perspective certainly opens a window for Parliament to begin an open debate to reconcile disparate legal regimes intended to eliminate human rights abuses. In both the public and private sectors, discrimination based on age, gender, creed, and racetribe is rampant in workplaces yet concerned authorities are oblivious of the fact that these are blatant contradictions on the spirit and letter of the Constitution.

For example, Equal Opportunities Commission Act passed by Parliament of Uganda in 2007 under Article 32(2) was up to fight abuses arising from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, tribe, creed, age, among others as it happens in some aanced democracies where mandatory retirement age has been abolished because of its assault on the Constitution and basic human rights. But this Commission is silent and virtually dead.

Nevertheless, it is surprising that human rights commissioners are not pushing enough to buttress institutions mandated to protect rights as enshrined in our law books. Interestingly, we have lately heard selective proposals to raise retirement age of judges and that of the President supposed to be limitless. To further prove that we are unconstitutional, most job aertisements rigidly dictate age requirements.

The minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, in liaison with the Attorney General, should sort out this anomaly and make Equal Opportunities Commission Act operational to eliminate human rights violations.
Molly Andara,
Kampala

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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