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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Persons with Disabilities Bill progressive development for Zimbabwe

Story by Tarirai Madhuyu

PERSONS with disabilities and other stakeholders have welcomed the Persons with Disabilities Bill, saying the legislation has a bearing on the country’s compliance with the constitution and international law.

The Bill comes as government is putting in place measures to improve the welfare of people with disabilities with special focus on protecting their rights.

Cabinet’s approval of the Persons with Disabilities Bill is the latest move to ensure the rights of people with disabilities are upheld.

“This paper will endeavor to explore the hopes and fears of the disability community, examine the opinions behind them from both practical and emotional points of view and suggest changes to the Bill in the hopes of resolving prevailing issues,” said Equal Zimbabwe Campaign chairperson, Mr Leonard Marange.

Parliamentary Caucus on Disability chairperson, Honourable Biata Nyamupinga also said, “As the Parliamentary Caucus on Disability in the country, we recommend that Zimbabwe takes action to strengthen enforcement mechanisms, provide clearer guidelines for implementation and ensure meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in decision- making processes.”

Senators representing Persons with Disabilities in the August House noted the need to align the law with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and international laws such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“We are very grateful that our government is always there for us. There are many good things which had been outlined within the Bill. This will go a long way in capacitating us and we are now looking forward to see us included business financial inclusion,” noted Senator Ishmael Zhou.

Senator Annah Shiri weighed in saying, “Zimbabwe is doing great things in making sure that our lives are improved. We just want to thank our President for his mantra ‘Leaving no one and no place behind.’ Zimbabwe is set to be the best in looking after our well-being in terms of legislation. We are tirelessly working out to make sure that the Bill aligns with our constitution.”

Public hearings on the bill are ongoing before the bill is debated in the lower and upper houses of parliament.

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