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PWDs should abide by the law in forthcoming by-election

By Lovemore Chazingwa

Members in the people with disability (PWDs) electoral college who are going to vote in tomorrow’s by-election have been urged to follow laid down laws and legal frameworks while shunning opinion as opposed to matters legal.
This was said by Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) deputy chairperson Ambassador Rodney Kiwa at a ZEC Processes Workshop in Kadoma.
The crucial plebiscite is slated for the Rainbow Towers in Harare.
The conference in Kadoma was meant to conscientize this key constituency on the role of ZEC as well as electoral processes obtaining before they face the decisive poll on May 14, 2022.
“This college is meant to prepare you for Saturday’s election where you will elect or appoint a Senator to represent our dear departed. Now it’s very very important that you need to pay particular attention. Please don’t be guided by what you think should happen. Be guided by what the law says, not what you think should be the law. What you think should be the law can be presented in other ways by way of improvement. What we’re talking about here and now is for you to have a clear appreciation of what is involved. “You, as members constituting the electoral college are enlightened on the expectations, what does the law say, can you be guided by that when you perform your citizenship duties on Saturday. Be guided by what my able colleagues will be advising in terms of the process of appointing or electing a Senator is concerned,” urged Amb. Kiwa.
The deputy chairperson was impressed by the interest generated among the gathering and it’s interactive takeaways,
“I would like to thank you for showing interest in knowing how ZEC operates. I also appreciate your interest in exercising your right to vote as citizens of this country. We must provide you with accurate information in all our processes. We’re not here to please you by giving information that is not accurate. By accurate information we mean information according to the law, that is, the Constitution, the Electoral Act, Statutory Instruments (SIs), and regulations that are to be adhered to,” said Amb. Kiwa in his remarks to participants.
The forthcoming by-election was precipitated by the death of Honorable Rejoice Timire who passed on last year. Hon. Timire was the female Senator representing PWDs in the House of Senate. The election is going to replace that late senator with another female senator as prescribed by responsible Ministers of Justice Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi, and his Social Welfare counterpart, Hon. Paul Mavhima, in close consultation with the national disability board.
That position is enshrined in the supreme law of the land.
ZEC employees, legal services director Shamiso Chahuruva and education and training deputy director Rejoyce Mtombeni took turns to facilitate at the eye-opening conference.
Information availed by the legal services director shows that, the disability constituency is represented by two Senators, a male and a female one. Chiefs occupy the other eighteen seats while, political parties fill up the bigger chunk of sixty members, bringing to a total eighty members of the Senate.
According to the head of the department of disability affairs in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Dr. Christine Peta, a seam exists in identifying organizations championing the cause of PWDs.
Organisations for PWDs are organisations that provide services to persons with disabilities. Such organisations can even be formed and run by persons without disabilities. On the other end, organisations of persons with disabilities are those that are formed and run by persons with disabilities themselves to advance their rights.
Some of the organizations represented at the highly subscribed Indaba include
Zimbabwe National League of the Blind, Zimbabwe Down Syndrome Association, Association of the Deaf, Emerald Hill, Federation of Organizations of People with Disability, Margaret Hugo, Global Talent, Disability Network, Ingutsheni Hospital, Saint Giles Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Integration of People with Albinism, National Council of Disabled Persons of Zimbabwe among a host of others.
About fifty organizations of and for people with disabilities attended the electoral college meeting.
Tafadzwa Matope from National League of the Blind who is also chairperson of the National Disability Expo made an itching clarification, “Disability is a condition not a disease. We are people with disability not persons living with disabilities,” Matope emphasized.
Like every other citizen, the PWDs constituency still retains it’s right to vote in any other public election.
The organiser of the workshop is the department of disability affairs in the MPSLSW in collaboration with ZEC, Public Service Commission (PSC), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services and, organisations of and for PWDs.

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