PWDs Call For Mandatory Disability Policy For Political Parties

People with Disabilities(PWDs) have called for mandatory disability policies for all political parties in order achieve inclusive participation in campaigning for positions of influence.

PWDs argue that there is no policy guidance that takes into account their special needs across the political spectrum.

Addressing a disability cluster meeting which was hosted by Zimbabwe Election Support Network(ZESN) and Albino Trust of Zimbabwe, PWDs stated that besides the quota system, there is a need for mandatory comprehensive disability policies by all political parties to encourage inclusive participation in political activities, platforms, and positions.

“All political parties must be encouraged to have comprehensive disability policies which will enable PWDs to meaningfully participate in the electoral process at all levels. In addition to this, all political parties must submit their list of candidates to ZEC with at least 10% of them being PWDs, and failure to do some must attract a penalty,” read the minutes from the meeting.

The call follows years of lobbying for a quota earmarked for PWDs in parliament and other sectors of government and economy.

Albino Trust of Zimbabwe spokesperson, Bruce Nyoni in an interview with this publication echoed the need for disability to be mainstreamed in mainstream politics.

“There should be a code of conduct or manual that includes PWDs to participate and also how they disseminate information. For instance, the issues of sign language interpretation and how to work harmoniously with them. During demonstrations, PWDs are more vulnerable. So if you have a disability policy, it will be in a position to tell you how PWDs meaningfully engage in and participate in those demonstrations and that’s where you see issues to get clearances coming to play.

PWDs also proposed that of the 60 seats through the quota system, 7 should be allocated to PWDs,  6 to be deducted from the 55 meant for older women and 1 to be deducted from the 5 reserved for younger women.

The ones reserved for PWDs should be nominated through an electoral college system.

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