ZANU PF politburo member and campaigner for the rights of disabled people, Joshua Malinga, has accused the government of lacking political will to address their plight.
Report by Blondie Ndebele
This explained its refusal to sign the United Nations Convention on the rights of people with disabilities, he said.
Malinga told NewsDay yesterday that people living with disabilities were also bitter over the exclusion of their rights in the draft constitution.
“I was there from the beginning and it’s unfortunate that we came out with almost nothing in this draft constitution. There is no policy for the disabled in this country. The current legislation is outdated and very much undemocratic,” Malinga said.
“If the government ratifies the convention, people with disabilities will be part of mainstream society.
“The policies here are not democratic as they do not accommodate us. Our government does not like working with non-governmental organisations of the disabled people.”
He said the convention embodies all the rights of people with disabilities and will help them to be recognised and respected instead of being regarded as charity cases.
Malinga said efforts to engage Labour and Social Services ministry to push for the adoption of the convention had come to naught.
“We had a raw deal with the government. They promised to ratify it, but nothing has been done yet.
“The Act of 1992 has not been implemented and does not incorporate all our rights,” Malinga added.
Repeated efforts to contact Labour minister Paurina Gwanyanya Mpariwa were fruitless as she was reported to be attending a series of meetings.