Disabled people’s rights are non-negotiable

RUSAPE - People living with disabilities should know that their rights as enshrined in international conventions and the Disability Act, are not negotiable, the chairman of Makoni Rehabilitation Centre, Joram Vhera has said.

In an interview with The Zimbabwean, Vhera, said: “People with disabilities have rights and these rights must not be asked for.” He said they had the right to free access to health and education, among other critical services, to ensure that they led normal lives.

“We cannot have people going to the Department of Social Welfare every time to be given letters so that they can access health services,” he said. He, however, noted that there was need for people living with disabilities to speak with one voice so that issues affecting them can be seriously addressed. Vhera said there was need for disability issues to be prioritised like other issues such as HIV and AIDS.

“Disability is as old as creation but what really has to be done is to improve the lives of people living with disabilities,” he said. Vhera also said there was need to establish a ministry to take care of the needs of the disabled people to avoid the hassles of hoping from one government department to another to have certain issues attended to.

Meanwhile, Chamunorwa Dube, a board member of National Council of Disabled Persons of Zimbabwe (NCDPZ), said the government should facilitate the participation of the disabled people in the writing of a new constitution.

He said: It is the right of the disabled people to write their independent views in the constitution. I would like to encourage all the people to say out their views in the constitution making process. We are happy that some of our members were seconded to various thematic committees.

Dube was selected to take part in the outreach programmes at provincial level.

He said their group was also making noise about availability of resources to some of their members in the remote parts of the country.

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