Runesu Gwidi Masvingo Correspondent
People living with disabilities in Masvingo have called for more representation in Parliament, arguing that the Electoral Amendment Bill and the Constitution of Zimbabwe were silent on the legal criteria used to choose their leadership.
Masvingo provincial youth spokesperson for the National Council for the Disabled Persons in Zimbabwe Mr Vengai Kurunzirwa said it was not good that Zimbabwe had only two Senators who represented people with disabilities in Parliament.
“As people with disabilities we have a feeling that society is marginalising us in terms of representation at high-level political platforms and electoral processes,” he said.
“Considering the fact that disabled people constitute 1,3 million out of the population of the entire country, the Electoral Amendment Bill will be a half-baked document if issues relating to the disabled community are not adequately enshrined in it.”
Mr Kurunzirwa said people with disability used different languages to communicate.
“Sections 6 (1) and 6 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe stipulate that the State, its institutions and agencies must treat officially recognised languages equally, but the Electoral Amendment Bill is silent on that requirement. For instance, we need MPs who are well-versed with sign language to represent people with speech and hearing impairment,” he said.
A representative of the Disability Amalgamation Community Trust, Mr Henry Chivanga, echoed the same sentiments saying the marginalisation of people with disabilities took place simply because there were no parliamentarians or leaders to represent their rights and interests in the august House.