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» » ‘Manpower Bill must address disability issues’


Triader Chipunza

MASVINGO - People With Disabilities (PWDs) have said the Manpower Planning and Development Amendment Bill which is currently being debated should have special provisions dealing with their unique requirements.

Among many other things, the bill seeks to enable funding for innovative students that want to venture into manufacturing and to establish government-funded professional bodies to ensure quality education and certification of internationally-recognisable professions.

Speaking at a consultative meeting for the bill which was held at the Civic Centre recently, representatives of disability lobby groups said the law should not be blind to special needs.

Vimbai Chese, an ambassador for PWDS in Masvingo, said many pieces of legislation tend to omit special needs in their clauses.

“It is our wish that our special needs are included in the provisions of the amendment bill. Parliamentary representation for people with disabilities is low so our issues do not receive as much attention as they should.

“If we had more of us parliament, there are better chances that laws would be more resposive to our needs and we will be able to learn more and become innovative,” said Chese.

She said public building needed to be friendlier to people with disabilities in order to improve accessibility.

“We need more ramps at institutions so that the physically and visually handicapped can have better access. Right now, it’s difficult especially for people on wheelchairs to use the regular toilets that are used by everybody else.

“We will however continue with our pushing for the rights of people with disabilities until we get full recognition as equal human beings capable of doing something with their lives,” said Chese.


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