Government must introduce free education for people living with disabilities, University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor, Professor Levi Nyagura, has said.
Speaking at the National Disability Expo held in the capital on Friday, Prof Nyagura said it was important for Government to introduce free education for people with disabilities from primary school to tertiary level.
“As a nation, we need to seriously consider the needs of people with disabilities. Central Government should introduce free education for people with disabilities from primary level up to tertiary level.
“Universities should holistically consider the disabled and assist them by providing user-friendly assistive devices in their studies,” he said. He added that education was able to transform the lives of marginalised people in society.
“Education is central to efforts to empower people with disabilities and it can transform their lives. We should know that one is not a lesser Zimbabwean by being disabled,” said Prof Nyagura.
He said the nation should draw lessons from Paul Matavire who, despite being blind, produced music which appealed to people from different backgrounds without a trace of his disabilities.
Speaking at the same occasion, national advisor on disability issues in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Rtd Brig-General Felix Muchemwa, said the law was not providing enough for the disabled.
“Our legislation is silent about the disabled. People with disability must be represented at all levels and their contributions have to be acknowledged. Legislators must embrace all Zimbabweans as equals regardless of disabilities or physical appearance,” he said.
He added that the expo helped in creating awareness of different issues affecting the disabled.
Chairperson and Special councillor for disabilities in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Gift Mabhaudhi said the expo provided a platform for key stakeholders to interact, develop synergies and share experiences relating to people living with disabilities.