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Persons With Disability Bill under spotlight in Chiredzi

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Persons With Disability Bill under spotlight in Chiredzi

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INCREASE GUMBO
MIRROR REPORTER

CHIREDZI – A bill to empower People with Disabilities (PWDs) came under spotlight in Chiredzi recently.
Zimbabwe Head of Christian Denomination (ZHOCD), a grouping of Christian churches led the dialogue on the bill which was held at the United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe. The discussions are happening across the country’s 10 provinces.
The key issues in the bill are fighting stigmatization of PWDs and empowering them in various spheres of life.
On stigmatization the Bill seeks to punish parents who refuse to marry their children to PWDs by making that a criminal offence.
On empowerment, the Bill seeks to introduce a disability quota in politics.
It also seeks to establish a Commission for disability, to make it mandatory to ensure access to education for PWDs and to establish disability desks at every organization. There will also be tax exemption on vehicles and gadgets used by PWDs of the Bill passes into law.
Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) Programs Coordinator, Julius Pembere said the purpose of the discussion is to consolidate findings and submit them to Parliament.
“This is an ongoing discussion in the 10 provinces of the country. As ZHOCD we decided to take the mandate and we will consolidate the findings and submit them to Parliament,” said Pembere.
The discussion was faciliated by Advocate Design Chikwape of and more than 20 PWDs’ from ward 1, 2 and 3 attended.
Susan Machingura emphasized PWDs’ quota in politics.
“As PWDs we want that quota system which was given to women and youth in politics,” she said.
ZHOCD encompasses church bodies such as Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), Union for the Development of Apostolic Church (UDACIZA), Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) and Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP).
Ashual Chikandiwa who has Albinism said Government should make it easy for PWDs to access schools.
Sibusiso Mharadze who has a hand impairment said the Bill enforce disability desks at every institution.
“There is need for a disability desk at every institution so that PWDs will be assisted easily,” she said.

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