Zimbabwe: Don't Discriminate Against the Disabled, Says Malinga

27 February 2019

Special Advisor on Disability Issues in the President's Office Dr Joshua Malinga last Friday called on citizens not to discriminate against people living with disabilities.

Presiding over a belated International World Braille Day in Harare, Dr Malinga said there were "shockingly high" levels of discrimination despite continuous campaigns against such behaviour through the enactment of the Disabled Persons Act in 1992.

Braille is a system of touch reading and writing for blind persons in which raised dots represent the letters of the alphabet.

"We are still being looked down upon, society should visualise disabled people and also involve them in development issues of the country, and they have a role to play," he said.

Dr Malinga, who is also disabled, said common complaints by disabled people included difficulty in using public transport, lack of user-friendly facilities and not enough information being made available for disabled people.

He called on the people living with disabilities to fight for their rights.

"You will not get anything if you remain quiet.

"It is time we stand up and fight for our rights," said Dr Malinga.

Dr Malinga called for tribunals to be set up to rule on cases where disabled people were subjected to discrimination by service providers and members of society.

He said half of disabled people were still unable to access employment in this country.

Dr Malinga called on the Government to adopt a policy to make adjustments where it is unreasonably difficult for a disabled person to access a service.

It is estimated that disability in Zimbabwe accounts for 7 percent of the total population.

Disability exists in Zimbabwe mainly due to diseases, war conflicts, malnutrition, accidents, abnormal births and hereditary characteristics among other factors.

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