Shalom Manguni, H-Metro Reporter
Government will continue to ensure that persons with disabilities are protected from all forms of discrimination and harm.
They must also be enjoying unlimited access to all facilities in society and not be deprived of equal opportunities to employment, First Lady Amai Mnangagwa has said.
Speaking at the interface with the disability leadership, Amai Mnangagwa said government under the new dispensation had gone a step further by creating an inclusive society for all where persons with disabilities and none disabled people share the same community services, go to the same schools, using the same transport, play sports together and take part in community development programmes.
“This new dispensation is about new ideas doing things differently such that instead of begging, crying and asking for sympathy we stand up to be empowered, to live our own lives with confidence,” she said.
Amai Mnangagwa said physically challenged people were a special part of the society.
“Historically persons with disabilities have never been treated as normal human beings and this attitude has continued over years since the ancient history going on even up to now their rights and dignities are still not respected by many.
“Persons with disabilities have suffered all types of segregation throughout different phases of history, being thrown away, being killed and total majority of them still remain under developed excluded and discriminated.
“The good news is the world has changed and still changing, persons with disabilities are accepted as human being first and as disabled people last,” she said.
She urged physically challenged people to be united.
“I came to realise that fragmentation is the biggest challenge that is amongst us, but I will say to you this doesn’t bring development.
“Unity and working together is key,” she said.
In separate interviews with some of the physically challenged people, musician Tongai ‘Greatman’ Gwaze mentioned discrimination as the biggest challenge faced by physically challenged people.
“Discrimination is a very big challenge, people look down upon us but despite those challenges Greatman is a man on a mission and I’m ready to face those challenges, nothing is stopping me.
“I urge all disabled people to notice their talents and focus on perfecting those talents.
“Most physically challenged people limit themselves just because they are disabled, but us to be treated as ordinary people we really have to work to achieve our goals.”
“I’m happy with Amai’s initiative, but what is left for us is to unite and move forward so that Amai will keep on supporting us.”
Secretary of people living with disabilities in Zimbabwe Miners Federation Moses Marufu urged physically challenged people not to limit themselves.
“We limit ourselves and we hide behind being physically challenged which is not a good thing.
“I forced myself into mining when people were discriminating me but I didn’t listen to them.
“I’m grateful for Amai’s support,” Marufu added