Formation of Parly caucus on disability hailed

Beatrice Nyamupinga

The recently launched Parliamentary Caucus on Persons with Disabilities has received a thumbs up amid revelations that its a giant leap towards addressing the plight of people with disabilities.

Two weeks ago a voluntary organisation made up of legislators from both the National Assembly and Senate was launched in Harare and it will be chaired by Goromonzi West MP Beatrice Nyamupinga.

The caucus seeks to advocate for legislation on disability mainstreaming across all sectors of the economy, championing matters affecting persons with disabilities, promoting norms and standards that promote effective participation of persons with disabilities.

The caucus would also lobby for budgetary allocations for the procurement of their assistive devices, enhancing the organisational capacity for persons with disabilities for them to have unity of purpose and to create employment opportunities and economic empowerment for them through vocational skills capacitation.

“First and foremost, we want to improve the lives and livelihoods of people with disabilities,” said Nyamupinga.

“We want to work on this Bill before Parliament because we went for public hearings and a lot was said by persons with disabilities themselves and persons who look after people with disabilities and organisations that represent people with disabilities.”

She said they would engage the government and development partners for assistive devices for people with disabilities.

Anna Shiri, a representative of persons with disabilities in the Senate, said the establishment of the Caucus was yet another true testament of Zimbabwe’s mantra of ‘leaving no place and no one behind’.

 “This entails that the future for the disability rights movement is not only bright, but auspicious,” she said.

National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda said the midwifery of this caucus significantly espouses the path towards a society founded upon the principles of inclusivity and equity.

“As representatives of the people, it is your solemn responsibility as parliamentarians to ensure that the voices and needs of all citizens, including those with disabilities, are heard and addressed positively,” he said

“For that reason, this Caucus should be more than just a group of like-minded parliamentarians. 

“Like other caucuses, it has to be a powerful force for mindset change, a beacon of hope for the millions of people with disabilities in our country.”

Mudenda said the government recognises the plight of persons with disabilities as seen through the crafting of the National Disability Policy in 2021 and the ongoing debate in Parliament of the Persons with Disabilities Bill.

Tapiwa Tsikai of This Ability Hub said the launch of the caucus was a positive step in the right direction.

“We are hoping that it is going to lead to a transformed life for a person with disability in the street not only in Harare and major cities, but in the rural areas where the majority of people with disabilities are,” he said.

Related Topics