People living with disabilities are bitter over the appointment of Farai Mukuta as their representative in the tourism advisory council arguing that an able-bodied person cannot adequately represent their interests.
Spokesperson of the Federation of Organisations of Disabled Persons in Zimbabwe, (FODPZ), Watson Khupe said they were disappointed after they learnt Makuta, the director of National Association of Care of the Handicapped (Nascoh), had been appointed to represent them in the tourism advisory council.
“What the disabled people of Zimbabwe are saying is that they do not want an able-bodied man representing them,” Mukuta said.
“We deserve equal opportunity and representation in these positions of high authority, but by the government placing an able-bodied man to represent us they are simply silently saying that when it comes to tourism disabled people are not a part of it.”
Khupe said they will soon mobilise their members and petition President Robert Mugabe to reverse the decision. Zanu PF deputy secretary for the disabled Joshua Malinga described Mukuta’s appointment as “utter nonsense” saying placing an able-bodied man to represent the disabled is “like appointing Ian Smith to represent black people”.
“This is a struggle for social justice and equal representation,” he said. But Mukuta said he was appointed on the strength of his technical expertise gained from his days at Nascoh.
“The tourism board is not limited to people with disabilities only. Even an able-bodied man can represent them. I believe I was appointed solely on the basis of my experience and technical expertise in dealing with matters of the disabled,” he said.