1,8m disabled persons demand inclusion

HARARE - About 1,8 million people living with disabilities in Zimbabwe have demanded the right to participate in government programmes, according to a new documentary.

The recommendations are contained in a documentary DVD entitled Enfranchising people with disabilities to exercise their constitutional right to vote and facilitating their inclusion in government systems done by National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped (Nascoh).

Farai Gasa Mukuta, the director of Nascoh, said 1,8 million people living with disabilities was a huge number that should not be ignored by authorities. 

Fambaineni Magweva, disability technical advisor at Nascoh, said the disabled were willing and able to participate in government processes and during the Constitution-making process, 7 126 persons with disabilities participated, some as polling agents and presiding officers. 

Magweva said a quarter of Zimbabwe’s polling stations, 2 522, were assessed and more than half of the polling stations were inaccessible to the disabled.

Joyce Timire, executive director of the Disabled Women’s Support Organisation, said there was need to advocate for the disabled to be in government structures and to attain decision-making powers in different organisations.

Abraham Mateta of the Zimbabwe Association of the Visually Handicapped in Umzingwani said his team was able to convince the public that they could be involved in electoral processes.

“We were key drivers of the programme and we made the public to believe that it is something that can be done,” Mateta said.

People living with disabilities are represented by two senators in the House of Senate, Annah Shiri and Nyamayaro Mashavakure. 

Nascoh patron Phillip Chingwana said buildings should have walkways for the disabled.

He said people living with disabilities should be accorded the chance to be in agriculture and they can also be teachers and drivers.

Comments (1)

inclusion in the programmes would be of great help to persons living with disabilities

Pick Nkomwa - 24 April 2014

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