People With Disabilities (PWD) have urged the Government to consider them in policy making process in order to address their marginalization and discrimination in society.
By Adelaide Kuudzerema
In June 2021, Zimbabwe launched the national disability policy, developed with support from various stakeholders including the United Nations. The policy addresses the marginalization and discrimination of Persons with Disabilities (PWD) while also empowering them to improve their quality of life.
In an interview with 263Chat, Founder of Signs of Hope Trust Zimbabwe, Samantha Sibanda said discrimination of people with disability towards policy making is a bit systematic since many people with disabilities are not aware of the policies that support them.
“People with disabilities do not have access to information, especially the fact that there is a bill for people with disabilities and most of them do not have interpreters to help them understand the bill considering how it’s made and what it means”, she said.
She added that, disability is a cross cutting issue which requires every Government department to have a disability desk that helps them to access any information they need and participate in different activities across the country.
Visually impaired Anna Machaire (37) from Kuwadzana said policies should be followed upon to check progress on inclusion of people with disabilities.
“Zimbabwe is one of the most progressive countries in advocating for disability rights, according to UNESCO. However, more still needs to be done in implementing the policies, follow ups have not been done to oversee welfare of people with disabilities,” Machaire said
Kudakwashe Madzingaire another Kuwadzana resident concurred with Machaire saying institutions like Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) can at least use 10% of their net-day’s revenue to help people with disabilities.
“We are isolated as people with disabilities, some of us have no work opportunities, It would be important if people help make opportunity for people with disabilities so they can be self-reliant,” said Madzingaire.
According to UNESCO, it is estimated that at least 1,4 million people have a form of disability in Zimbabwe and several of them have not been involved in national development activities.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe states that government institutions should promote equitable development through promoting self-reliance and private initiatives to people with disabilities.