PWDs lobby for ratification of disability protocol

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An elderly woman pushes herself on a wheelchair

ZIMBABWE Down Syndrome Association (ZDSA) in conjunction with disabled persons organisations (DPOs) are calling for the validation of Africa Disability Protocol (ADP), which seeks to provide for rights of people living with disabilities (PLWDs) from an African perspective.

BY PATRICIA SIBANDA

ZDSA representative David Zulu told a Press conference in Bulawayo yesterday that the charter was approved two years back.

“This protocol was adopted by the general assembly of the States and governments of the African Union (AU) on January 31, 2018. The step of adopting the protocol was historic to our view,” he said.

“It is now imperative that the countries that adopted this charter, Zimbabwe included, should ratify it to become the continental law and a minimum of 15 countries out of 54 which comprise the AU should ratify it to become a law. We are here to advocate and convince our listening government to be part of the 15 so that people with disabilities in Zimbabwe are not left behind in terms of socio and economic development,” he said.

Zulu added that ZDSA had been “involved in advocating and lobbying the Social Welfare ministry, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the Office of the President and Cabinet through the special adviser to the President on Disability Issues (Joshua Malinga) and the Federation of Organisations of Disabled People in Zimbabwe to let them know the protocol, also presenting the document to them”.

ZDSA director Sibonisiwe Mazula said PLWDs were exposed to harmful practices, hence the ADP would assist in reducing abuse.