HARARE – Today marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The day is being celebrated under the theme “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all.”
Farai Mukuta, director of National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped, (Nascoh) said some doors have supported the disabled.
“President Mugabe’s signing of the convention on the rights of the people with disabilities has put us at par with all the people with disabilities in the world,” Mukuta said.
“Once the convention is domesticated, the government departments will be compelled to have budgets for the disabled and activities that cater for the people with disabilities.”
Mukuta said he hoped for a quick domestication of the convention and a quick implementation of the principal.
“Disabled persons have concerns of land in Zimbabwe. There should be a deliberate affirmative action for people with disabilities to get land. Acceptable land not in faraway places that is not fertile,” said Mukuta.
While the world commemorated World Aids Day on Sunday, Mukuta said the disabled were not benefitting from programmes including the anti retroviral therapy.
Meanwhile, Soneni Gwizi, a radio presenter and United Nations World Tourism Organisation brand ambassador, said this year’s theme of International Day of Persons with Disabilities means people should develop a disability inclusive mentality in all sectors in the running of everyday business.
Gwizi said, “It also means that persons with disabilities should develop a championship spirit and not leave room for any isolation or negative treatment from society. Disability statics shows that over one billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability.
“This is a serious case that needs attention were the welfare, healthcare, education and employment matters of persons with disabilities should be among one of the priorities of this country.”
Gwizi said Zimbabweans should respect the disabled members of the society by respecting laws put in favour of them.