PHYSICALLY-CHALLENGED people have lamented segregation in small-scale mining, calling on the government to empower them in the sector.
“We have agency and we are hard workers, but we are having a serious challenge in mining. We lack the technical know-how in mining, and this is a big challenge for us,” Manomano said.“We also face financial challenges and as a physically-challenged person with no cent how do you start? Where do you get a loan? How do you repay it? What are the terms? We don’t know all this and this has made small-scale mining difficult for us,” added Manomano.
“We have those who are blind and there are no facilities that can make them partake in mining. We have those who use wheelchairs and they cannot move around mines. So, we are heavily disadvantaged as there is no proper infrastructure to allow us to mine,” said Sithole.
“Sometimes you feel that it’s a sin to be disabled. You really have to be strong because the discrimination is just shocking,” mourned Moyo.
“Instead of people supporting us, they want to steal from us or move us from our claims. Some think that because we are incapacitated, we are underutilising the claims, but we all want to live, we have families to look after,” she added.
Research and advocacy coordinator at CCMT Shadreck Vengesai implored the government to enact policies that emancipate the miners.
“The mining sector is an industry where marginalisation of persons living with disability is rampant. The government needs to put in place policies and practices that ensure inclusivity,” said Vengesai.