Parly asked to bump up disability allowance

HARARE - PublicService, Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Lovemore Matuke has called on Parliament to review disability benefit claims from $15 a month to a higher award to sustain the needs of the physically challenged.

Matuke told the National Assembly earlier this week that people living with disabilities were not being offered enough to meet their needs.

This comes as conditions have worsened since July’s contentious election, with the economy sharply deteriorating and prices rising exponentially.

Matuke urged members of Parliament (MPs) to increase entitlements to the physically challenged in the National Budget.

“This is a pertinent issue that needs to be addressed.  The allowance they have been getting is very little. They have been getting about $15 per month.

“As a ministry, we expect this House to assist when the budget is presented to ensure that we are allocated enough funds to look after people living with disabilities,” Matuke said.

“I am happy that MPs from both sides of the House have realised the importance of these issues. When the budget is presented on the 29th of November, 2018, you will assist us.”

The deputy minister as a portfolio responsible for the physical challenged, they need to ensure that they lead a normal life at all costs and they expect Parliament to rally behind them in that initiative.

“It is our hope that people with disabilities can live a life that we all live.  Some cannot even send their children to school but as a ministry, we submitted our bids. I believe that what they have been getting is very little, so let us assist each other for more allocation to be made,” Matuke said.

This came after MDC MP for Masvingo Province, Mugidho Machirairwa, pointed out that bus operators are complaining that more and more physically handicapped people are begging for alms in public vehicles.

Machirairwa said government must ensure that the physically challenged get money they need to live with dignity. The MP said living with physical challenges was hard enough and it should not be made harder by a welfare system that doesn’t make sense.

MPs also recently slammed Parliament for lacking proper facilities for handicapped people after a visually impaired Zanu PF representative MP, Rossy Mpofu, almost fell while going to the podium to present her motion.

They called on government to address this issue urgently arguing that physical impairments can befall anyone anytime.

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