Addressing a multitude of gatherers at the belated celebrations of the Internal Day for Persons Living with Disabilities help in Mutare on Wednesday, Dr Joshua Malinga who is the Presidential Special Adviser on Disability Issues said disability is an economic issue, a political issue and a social issue which should closely be looked at.
Dr Malinga said: “Disability is a political issue, which is about how we take the issues of the persons living with disabilities into account and how we respond to them. It is economic, which is how we treat each other and them in workplaces, business and in organizations. Disability is a social issue as the persons living with disabilities need to be involved in decision making, planning, and constructive debates.”
He added that in the just ended Zanu–PF National People’s Conference held in Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province from December 10-15, people with disabilities will be considered to take their place in government positions and held shape the country’s future.
Persons with disability “from now on shall occupy seats in government structures. From national level, provincial, district and ward level there shall be a representative for persons living with disability. There will attain seats in the Upper House, Senate and the Parliament. Some officials will be forced to give in their positions in order to pave way for the people with disability,” said Dr Malinga.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated on December 3 every year since its birth in 1992. In Zimbabwe multitudes of persons living with disability come together and celebrate, promote and address issues that the disabled people are facing in their communities.
This year’s edition ran under the banner, ‘Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.’
The celebration which was a pomp fun-fare was a national event where other provincial representatives convened for the peaceful merriment at the Chisamba grounds in Sakubva, Mutare.
The persons with disabilities were involved in a peaceful march which signifies advocacy for their voices to be heard and rights to be considered.
The event was graced by the Deputy Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Public Services, Labour and Social Welfare, United Nations representative, National Board members for persons living with disabilities in Zimbabwe.
Mr Kennedy Mugarisanwa, the Director in the Manicaland Provincial Affairs office, who was standing in for Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba said that the issues of persons living with disability should be taken seriously and their requirements should be taken into the amendments of the constitution as this goes in line with the 2030 agenda.
“2030 agenda is leaving no one behind, therefore it is critical to look into the rights of persons living with disabilities and their needs be amended in the constitution. I will do my level best to see that the barriers facing the persons with disabilities are removed. We are all Zimbabweans regardless of physical differences. Disability does not mean inability,” said Mr Mugarisanwa in the Minister of State’s speech.
Meanwhile, in the report publicised by the United Nations (UN), a statistics of one billion people live with disability, which make them the largest minority in the world.