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People living with disabilities prejudiced


GOVERNMENT has prejudiced people living with disabilities by failing since 2012 to disburse public funds meant to assist them thereby condemning them to live in abject poverty, it has emerged.


The issue was raised last week in the Senate by senator representing people living with disabilities, Nyamayabo Mashavakure who said the disbursements were so erratic that in 2012 their money was diverted resulting in the prejudice.

Government set up the fund to support people living with disabilities as part of its social safety net programmes following promulgation of the Disabled Persons Act.

The programme provided capital for income generating projects, procuring assistive devices like wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and payment of educational fees, as well as payment of monthly allowances through the harmonised cash transfer programme.

Mashavakure wanted Acting Finance and Economic Development minister Olivia Muchena to explain why government had failed sometimes to disburse the amounts.

Mashavakure also wanted to know of measures they were going to take to ensure the 2012 experience did not recur.

“What measures have been put in place to ensure that the prejudice suffered by people living with disabilities, resulting from virementing (diverting) of monies to some votes will not recur, considering that in 2012 these people went without public assistance for a period of almost 12 months,” said Mashavakure.

Muchena said the disbursements to people living with disabilities had been affected by the downward revision of budget.

“Where the overall budget is adjusted downwards, various items are equally affected, and furthermore, where actual revenue collection falls short of the budget revenues, disbursements on some items may not be realised,” Muchena said.

“In 2010, people living with disabilities were allocated $800 000; in 2011 ($1 340 000), in 2012 ($2 000 000) in 2013 ($1 600 000) while in 2014 they were allocated $1 400 000.

“Regrettably, the above appropriation amounts were not fully disbursed. To improve the welfare of this constituency, Treasury is working with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to ring-fence the 2014 budget allocation and subsequently disburse resources in line with the 2014 appropriation of $1 400 000,” said Muchena.

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