Sign language Constitution on the cards

ZIMBABWE will soon have a sign language Constitution to cater for those with hearing impairments, Justice ministry permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza has said.

by Stephen Chadenga

Sign language is among 16 official national languages recognised in the national Constitution.

“It is only last month that as a ministry we had a meeting with an association that deals with sign languages after we got support from one of our development partners, the United Nations Development Programme,” Mabhiza said at a constitutional advocacy meeting in Gweru last week.

“The association showed us a draft which we will forward to the relevant authorities and once that is approved, we will soon have a sign language Constitution.”

The first sign language dictionary was launched in Zimbabwe in 2011 before sign language was incorporated into the Constitution in 2013.

Speaking at the same occasion, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also in charge of the Justice ministry, said government had to date reproduced and distributed over 500 000 copies of the Constitution.

Mnangagwa said there were 350 000 copies of the abridged version of the Constitution in local languages and 5 000 copies in Braille to cater for the visually impaired.

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