6 April 2022
As government embarks on the nationwide mobile registration blitz, the FORUS party is calling on government to be inclusive and cater for people with disabilities.
Our party believes that while the exercise is a welcome development, people with disabilities should not be left behind as they are also an important constituency whose basic fundamental rights to participate in national processes such as politics are recognised and guaranteed in the Constitution.
The FORUS party appreciates that while government estimates that about 1% of the people live with disabilities in Zimbabwe, other organisations such as the National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped (NASCOH) argue that disability prevalence in Zimbabwe is over 10% of the population (NASCOH, 2013).
We note that despite the variance on the statistics, which we hope will be clarified by the upcoming National Census, persons with disabilities must not be left behind and government must ensure that there is adequate education and inclusive awareness which also caters for the blind and the deaf.
People with disabilities have been the worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and national Lockdown hence the urgent need to ensure that they are also accommodated and catered for by the ongoing mobile national registration blitz.
Considering that the majority of them also face mobility challenges, it is important that they utilise the ongoing mobile registration blitz which is decentralised and accessible within their communities. We are therefore calling on government to deliver awareness campaigns using the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication for the individual citizens such as the deaf, deafblind and blind citizens.
We thus urge government to up its game and come up with personalised awareness raising strategies and mechanisms that do not segregate persons living with disabilities. As enunciated in our party’s Disability Policy, we believe that citizens with disability must receive the individual support they require to facilitate their daily welfare and existence in environments that maximize their social, economic and political development.
When in power post 2023, our party pledges the provision of an inclusive society that fosters the attainment of appropriate standards, at all levels, as well as ensuring that persons with disability are afforded the equal opportunities in all spheres to live a standard life that does not dehumanise them or strip them of their basic fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution.
Our party will provide lifelong learning opportunities for persons with disabilities of all gender affiliations and ensure that they are exempted from paying fees and levies at all public learning institutions. Individualised education plans including assessments that are shared with parents and guardians will be implemented as a matter of priority.
The FORUS led government will avail reasonable social welfare services, grants and accommodation to everyone with disability including the provision of befitting physical infrastructure, assistive technology, teaching and learning methods, information and materials to ensure the full development of the human potential, sense of dignity, self-worth, personality, talents, creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities.