Rights lawyers unveil braille Copac draft

HARARE - A local rights group yesterday slammed the coalition government for failing to package information on the constitution-making process for the handicapped in Zimbabwe.

Kumbirai Mafunda, communications officer for Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said it was unfortunate the government was insensitive when it comes to making information available to the disabled.

“ZLHR has taken initiative after seeing the discrimination against the disabled, with government at the forefront,” Mafunda said.

Mafunda was speaking at the launch of ZLHR’s summarised analysis of the Constitution Parliamentary Committee (Copac), draft constitution in braille.

He said although government had set up an inter-party committee tasked with coming up with a constitution, the disabled where still being short-changed in terms of accessing information on the whole process.

“The government should be at the forefront of promoting accessibility for the disabled to engage, learn, share, and make choices just like the rest of the commonality of citizens in Zimbabwe,” Mafunda said.

He said ZLHR is calling upon government to take meaningful measures aimed at allowing people with disabilities to fully participate in national processes such as the ongoing constitutional reform exercise through increased access to diverse information.

Mafunda said ZLHR launched the initiative to bridge where government has failed and to promote equality and access to information for all citizens of Zimbabwe so as to facilitate their engagement with the key national process of constitution-making.

The analysis provides an overview of each chapter of the proposed constitution together with a commentary of what is progressive and what issues remain problematic.

As the country moves towards a possible constitutional referendum, it is necessary for all Zimbabweans to educate themselves on the content put forward in order to make their own decision on whether the draft constitution is better than the current Constitution.

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