By ZBC Reporter
PEOPLE with special needs have commended the government for its commitment to improving their welfare through a consultative process on issues that affect them.
This comes as government and its development partners are taking the draft national disability policy and persons with disabilities bill to stakeholders across the country for their input. The Government and its development partners have taken the draft national disability policy and persons with disabilities bill to stakeholders in Matabeleland South for their input and validation.
Among the key recommendations by those who attended the consultative process in Gwanda was the issue of appointing more people living with disabilities in decision making positions.
“If you look at parliament or councils there are very few people who represent us. we would also want a situation whereby 10 per cent of children with disability are included in the Presidential scholarship and being exempted from paying school fees is also imperative “ said an attendee
Senator representing people with disabilities Cde Watson Khupe applauded the government for its commitment to improving the quality of life for all citizens.
“We are very excited about this process. As you know the existing law has been overtaken by events having been last amended in 1996 . So the new disability act will be aligned to the new constitution and as such, we feel our lives are going to change for the better “ said Khupe
The special advisor on disability issues in the President’s office, Dr Joshua Malinga said there is need for every sector to be more responsive to the human rights needs of persons with disabilities.
“These two documents are very important because while other countries have been fighting for standards we are still fighting for our rights. However, the fact that the President appointed me as his advisor is obviously a show of commitment to addressing our plight” he said.
Consultations on the draft national disability policy and persons with disabilities bill have so far been held in three provinces and are expected to continue until February next year.
The disability act which was last amended in 1996 is being aligned to the constitution.
By ZBC Reporter