By Tendai Guvamombe
While most public institutions in the country are aligned to some form of legislation mandated to bring protection and recognition in the society, it has not been the case for the people with disabilities (PWDs) who continue to experience discrimination over the years.
The absence of proper legislation to secure PWDs’ rights has been negatively affecting them with gross rise of discrimination recently in different communities.
The current forms of legislation pay little attention to the myriad challenges currently affecting them hence the need to realign laws comes into play.
Despite the government necessitating their inclusion in Parliament, Honorable Senator Rejoice Timire, the representative of the Disability Constituency has been anxiously calling for Disability Policy to be crafted.
“We are working with various organisations such as Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Non Aligned Groups in the country in our fight to make sure we have a Disability Policy implemented by next year.”
The United Nations International Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) clearly mandates governments of the world to observe rights of persons with disabilities whose day is celebrated on the 3rd of December annually.
At a function held in Highfield last year Senator Timire said it is now time to bridge the existing gap between disabilities and rest of the world adding that disability does not mean inability.
“Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) emphasise on leaving no one behind and we are saying Persons with Disabilities have been excluded since time immemorial and inclusivity has to be in all aspects of life, be it sports, schools and other social aspects of life.”
Discrimination has been castigated whereby PWDs have been restricted to live in isolation – a predicament which divides them from rest of the world. Their exclusion has been creating a wider gap with the rest of the world especially in areas of communication and interpretation where media has been criticised for failing to report using terms acceptable to them.
Crafting a Disability Policy will certainly address myriad challenges and concerns affecting the disability communities ranging from empowerment to their participation in the public sphere and national developmental issues.