People living with disability say there is urgent need to lobby the government to include them in independent commissions and create equal job opportunities.
Speaking during the 7th edition of the National Disability Expo held in Bulawayo last week under the theme, ‘Ensuring inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities through innovation and technology’, Federation of Disabled People in Zimbabwe (FODPZ) Senator Watson Khuphe said there is need to lobby the government for equal job opportunities for people living with disability.
“As FODPZ we believe that nothing is for us without us, we have managed to lobby the government to have representation in senate but that is not enough, we need more seats there.
“We also want to push for positions in the anti-corruption commission because we have no representation there and we believe that if we lobby the government nothing will be impossible,” senator Khuphe said.
“Like any other African countries we want to be able to select our own representative so that there can be proportional representation even for the disabled people.”
Meanwhile, Special Advisor in the office of the president on disability issues, Dr Joshua Malinga said there is need for disabled people to hold the government accountable.
“We need to hold the government of Zimbabwe accountable so that it provides services for us because we are not a charity case.
“In the olden days we were so few since we were abandoned because it was believed that we are a curse, but nowadays we have made it to the streets, senates, politics, different structures and social systems at large,” said Dr Malinga .
“We hope that by 2030 the government will also be able to provide buses that will be accessible by disabled people.”
In addition, Minister of State and Provincial Affairs, Judith Ncube said the government at times makes policies without recognising the impact they will have to disabled people.
“Policies are sometimes made without taking into consideration the impact they can have to people living with disability.
“These policies in turn also affect other sectors like employment of disabled people, we understand challenges faced by people in general when it comes to employment in the country, but people living with disability are the ones who suffer the most,” Min. Ncube said.
“The government has however made efforts to ensure that consideration is made to include disabled people when making policies “