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» » People with disabilities, lawyers to confront Zec over BVR anomalies

Lawyer Dereck Charamba and Henry Chivanga of Disability Amalgamation Community Trust
The Disability Amalgamation Community Trust (Dact) and some members of the Masvingo Lawyers Association (MLA) have resolved to immediately petition the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) over voter registration anomalies that disadvantage mostly people with disabilities.

The resolution was made after a Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) discussion hosted by Tell Zimbabwe at the Civic Centre on Friday evening.
Panellists at the discussion were lawyer Derrick Charamba, Henry Chivhanga of Dact and Martin Mureri, a lawyer who stood for the Community Tolerence, Reconciliation and Development Trust (Cotrad).

At the discussions, several pertinent issues were raised including the difficulties that people with disabilities face in accessing BVR centres, lack of involvement by people living with disabilities in the BVR process and absence of Sign Language skills in Zec.

"In light of all that, we have decided to go and present our grievances to Zec. There can be nothing for us without us. When we go to register to vote, we want to be assisted by people from our own community because we tend to understand each other better. We want inclusivity.

"We know that there are more of our people who have failed to register to vote than anybody else. Even the available voter registration material discrimintes against the visually and hearing-impaired as well as other minority groups in the country," said Chivhanga.

On his part Charamba said there were many inconsistencies between what the constitution says regarding the rights of people with disabilities and what government is doing.

"We are approaching Zec to tell them that we can no longer accept that. The few BVR days that still remain must be fairer to people living with disabilities," said Charamba.

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