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Provincial Newspapers Telegraph

PWDs request Parliamentary representation


By Fortunate Gunde

PERSONS with Disabilities (PWDs) believe that while they are represented in the Senate, there should a Member of Parliament from the community to champion their cause. PWDs constitutes about 10 percent of the population but argue that there is no representation in the Lower House (Parliament).

Inclusion, they point out, must become a natural part of any organisation’s strategy and is the right thing to do as it also brings huge benefits.

The issue of electoral amendments, which are proposed to be carried out, for example, the issue of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) registration, which is now under the Registry Department. So, in terms of disability this can be an opportunity to make some changes, especially to Seventh Schedule.

“So, if there could be some adaptations, where it could allow, like, what was done to the youth and the women quota systems, we can eve have some alterations which can be aligned towards representation of PWDs in the Lower House, so that the disability issues ca not only be advocated by senators, but can be championed by Lower House Member Parliaments who will be representing PWDs.

“If they could allow one member per province, so that we can have at least 10 people with disabilities in the Parliament, that could be a number substantial enough, then we, turn those two senators in the Senate, it could be a starting point,” explained Mangayi.

The Hope in Motion Official added that they were looking where in the proposed Bill they were supposed to be under the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare. “It is no longer an independent commission. Why can’t a disability commission be like any other commission, which are in the Constitution, so that at least issues of disability can be addressed and the commission have powers in terms of issues which are raised in the Bill of adjustment orders and so on?

“In this Bill the commission’s power is limited to the minister, because the overall decision lies with the minister, which means the commission is just there to give proposals. The minister can accept or reject the proposals, but once the minister rejects it means it is people with disability who are going to suffer. If the commission becomes independent, in terms of its operations, decision- making – those are some of the issues we will be thinking, if possible, they can also be addressed, especially when there are some constitutional alterations because there are some fundamental issues which we feel need to be addressed,” said Mangayi.

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