BY RUTENDO MATANHIKE
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s special adviser on disability, Joshua Malinga, yesterday urged Zimbabweans to give equal opportunities to people living with disabilities (PLWDs) as part of efforts to promote disadvantaged communities.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare on this year’s National Disability Expo, which will take place from July 30 to August 1 in Bulawayo, Malinga said the event sought to showcase PLWDs talent so that communities accept them as individuals who can function in any society.
“Disability is the way I am treated by society. We are excluded in almost all main community services and other areas. The expo will seek to showcase people of the disabled community in their various walks of life including successful business people and others alike,” he said.
Malinga said there was need to remove the misconception in people that PLWDs can not do anything on their own.
“It is the mindset of our abled counterparts that disables us to function at our maximum potential and not our impairments. We suffer more from political, economic and social systems and the way to address the situation is for people to start treating us equally,” he said.
“As the disabled community, we suffer at the whims of those who believe they can make decision for us. For instance, disabled women and men are sterilised without their permission, their reproductive health is not respected.”
Malinga said PLWDs want equal representation in various aspects of society.
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“Disabled people should stop hiding from the public, but to come out into the community and be involved in everything they wish to do,” he said.
The Expo chairperson, Gift Mabhaudhi, said the event also sought to push for equal representation of the disabled in all sectors of the society.