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A CHRISTMAS BOOST FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN CHITUNGWIZA

“……people should transform their attitude towards disabilities as differently abled persons can in most cases do all what everybody else can do……….”. People living with disabilities call for more action from the government.

The Zimbabwe Government’s Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare in conjunction with The President’s office and several disabilities associations brought together nearly three hundred persons with disabilities including their parents and guardians to receive four kgs of rice each as relief and Christmas gift.

It was a Christmas boost for persons with disabilities at the Chitungwiza Publicity Association where Senator Dr. Joshua Teke Malinga who is the Special Advisor on Disability Issues in the Office of the President Malinga and Senator Rejoice Timire were the distinct guests.

Critical issues emerging during the question and answer segment of the highly replicable and procedural event, included the request for adequate funding for projects by restricted persons and their improved access to communication. A representative from the Association of Parents Living with Children with Disabilities said that the Covid19 Induced Lockdown exposed several weaknesses in most families.

Availing food on the table, child monitoring in schools and outside are still issues of concern.

Senator Dr. Joshua Teke Malinga who was in wheelchair and now slowing down in speech said that people should transform their attitude towards disabilities as differently abled persons can in most cases do all what everybody else can do. The disability activist and businessman, Dr. Malinga urged all the attending differently abled persons to join main stream economies such as agriculture and other viable projects.

In answer to questions on the government’s positioning on housing, employment and inclusive infrastructure, Dr. Malinga advised all associations representing disabled persons to remain united whilst rallying behind the government’s efforts and development initiatives.

Honorable Senator Timire took the lion’s share on speech highlighted that Gender Based Violence on persons with disabilities is still an issue of concern as systems to protect them are not yet fully established. Senator Timire hailed the current government’s efforts to amend the Disabilities Act of 1992 into a more enabling ACT under the ongoing Harmonization of Laws.

The new amendments should include mainstreaming and inclusivity in education and employment, changes in attitudes and inclusive conducive infrastructural developments. She said. She also challenged the congregation to be grateful to those who support them in all aspects of their lives as a matter of compliance and building fruitful relationships in addition to taking active constructive roles in policy making.

Honorable Senator Timire inspires the physically challenged through her profile which includes but not limited to being elected senator during the 30 July 2018 harmonized elections, Executive Director for the Disabled Women Support Organization on Issues of Disability and Gender Issues, Treasure for the women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe and Secretary for the women’s Bureau of Zimbabwe.

Ms. Tonderayi Manonganise the Chitungwiza District Social Welfare Officer, who was standing in for the Provincial  Social Welfare Officer, Ms. Ngani, made a special request to all stakeholders to enhance access  to information to differently abled persons be it the hearing impaired, handicapped, the blind and the persons living with albinism so that they can benefit from the governments’ programmes on health and treatment, financial support, scholarships and support groups.

Four recent University graduates from The Dutch Reformed University in Zimbabwe who are all visually impaired requested for an immediate government intervention on availing employment opportunities and construction of inclusive infrastructure and technologies. 

Judith Mukodzani expressed concern on the state of the roads which make it difficult to walk as potholes at one occasion nearly caused severe injury to her. She also requested for adequate braille literature, hearing aids and acoustic treatment of classes for the purposes of enhancing literacies for the persons living with visual impairment.

Abigirl Muzadzi and Tinashe Chouraye requested for availing employment opportunities to disabled persons and promoting special needs education being taught by the challenged persons. Correspondingly, Ms. Anna Mahere requested relevant authorities to make a serious drive on innovations on public transport to be conducive to the differently abled.

She also complained of thieves and unfair treatment from touts and bus operators. Generally, the majority of the beneficiaries expressed joy with the gifts.

STORY BY TENDAI A. SAUTA (22-12-2020) (0772761139)

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