The National Council of Disabled Persons of Zimbabwe (NCDPZ) has elected a new interim national executive committee led by veteran disability rights campaigner Obadiah Moyo in a bid to give the organisation a new impetus.
The organisation, founded in Bulawayo in 1975, has branches throughout the country.
Its mandate is to ensure full participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all spheres of life.
In a statement this week, the organisation said it recently held an extra-ordinary general meeting at Freedom House in Bulawayo where Moyo was elected president.
Tungamirai Kurunzwirwa from Masvingo was elected vice-president responsible for membership development while Pauline Sibanda from Bulawayo was elected vice-president responsible for economic empowerment.
Kwekwe-based Evelyn Zimba was elected board secretary and Joseph Ndebele from Bulawayo is the new treasurer.
Other members of the board include John Fanny Mutero from Hwange, Benjamin Chirinda from Marondera and Charity Zvarevashe from Kadoma.
The new committee replaces the Farai Cherera-led board that had been in office since 2003.
The NCDPZ constitution stipulates that an elective congress is held every fourth year.
NCDPZ said one of the major tasks of the new interim board will be to revive the branches of the organisation in preparation for an all-stakeholders’ conference and congress to elect a substantive board.
Moyo appealed to local authorities and central government to mainstream disability in their programmes.
He said the government should have legislation that compels communities to include persons with disabilities in the identification, design and implementation of livelihoods and other community-based projects.
“Buildings, transport, sport and recreation facilities are built without consideration for equal access and use by citizens living with disabilities,” Moyo said.
“NCDPZ is concerned that Zimbabwe has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as this sends signals that our inclusive government does not prioritise the rights of its citizens with disabilities.”