People With Disabilities Call For Representation In Human Rights Commission

Following an announcement by the Parliament of Zimbabwe requesting for someone to fill in a vacant post that has arisen in the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, the people living with disabilities have called upon the supreme body to consider one of their own for the position.

The post became available after one of the commissioners, C.T Khombe resigned on the 31st of October last year.

“Accordingly, the Standing Rules and Orders Committee is hereby calling on the Public to nominate persons to be considered for appointment to this Commission,” read part of the job advertisement.

The Standing Rules and Orders Committee of the Parliament of Zimbabwe is mandated in terms of sections 237 and 243 of the Constitution, to nominate candidates for appointment by his Excellency the President to serve as Commissioners on the Zimbabwe Human Rights  Commission provided for in Chapter 12  Part 3 of the Constitution.

However, members of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission must be chosen for their integrity and their knowledge of and understanding of, and experience in, the promotion of human rights.

Albino Trust spokesperson Bruce Nyoni, representing the people living with disabilities community has called upon  the the parliament of Zimbabwe to consider nominating people from their constituency for the post that has arisen in the commission.

Nyoni said the fact that they do not have any representative in the Commission, has always been a worrisome issue.

“The parliament should consider a candidate from people living with disabilities community. As people living with disabilities, we feel that we need to sensitize ownership of the commission so that we will also feel represented.  We need to  have a voice in the commission,” said Nyoni.

He added; “If represented, it will also allow some reforms to be done with our community being considered as well.”

It is the belief of this community that being part of parliament is important. When people from a marginalized group get a foot in the political process, that group – both their faces and their interests – begin to be represented.

Disabled people are more likely to live in poverty, have no formal qualifications or be unemployed than their non-disabled counterparts.

Oftenly, the critical issues that affect everyone hit the disabled harder.

Nyoni said it is not easy for a commission that does not have a person from the disabled community to thoroughly look at issues affecting the constituency late alone dimensions to mainstream policies.

“Truth be told, there are barriers everywhere, even the most basic things like being able to use public transport with a wheelchair or communication without a sign language interpreter,” said Nyoni.

He added; “Needing support by a physically disabled person does not mean  that person is less able.”