Mliswa speaks on disability
Blessings Chidakwa in Kadoma
The Department of Social Welfare should engage in door-to-door collaction of data on people living with disabilities in order to get correct information, a senior Government official has said.
Addressing a belated International Day for People Living with Disability function in Kadoma recently, Provincial Affairs Minister for Mashonaland West Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said the figures of disabled used by Government could be understated.
She said due to stigma, some parents and guardians, are hiding children living with disabilities while hindering their access life-changing Government schemes.
Minister Mliswa-Chikoka said, this was prevalent in rural areas.
“Government is offering many programs for those living with disabilities, but there is need for the Social Welfare Department from provincial down to district level to set up groups in wards that will move at each household assisting people with disabilities.
“Some of the statistics that you have might not be correct because a lot of people are hiding their disabled children or relatives.
“So we want a situation whereby you go door by door gathering the correct information while working with local leadership. These cases are rampant in rural areas,” she said.
Minister Mliswa-Chikoka said the commemorations were an important tool for the promotion of the rights of people with disabilities in all spheres of society and development.
“This increases awareness and understanding of disability issues together with the benefits of integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life,” she said.
“It is only through value added cooperation that we can meaningfully enhance standards of persons living with disabilities within our society and community.”
She also warned some unscrupulous elements within people living with disabilities to desist from exploiting Government in the name of disability as those caught would be named and shamed.
National Disability Association board member Mr Langton Mugova urged people with disabilities to make use of revolving funds being availed by Government.
In terms of empowerment, Government has many programs to uplift the lives of people with disabilities, despite economic hardships it is supporting us. There is a disability revolving fund, the money is there it might delay but it won’t be long before it will be disbursed.
“During the close of year in 2018 about $37 000 in underutilised funds was lying idle as there were no applicants for the money,” he said.
Mr Mugove challenged people with disabilities to come up with viable project proposals when applying for the revolving fund to boost their chances of accessing it.
Department of Social Welfare provincial head for Mashonaland West Mrs Agnes Mutowo pledged to roll out massive awareness campaigns informing people with disabilities of their roles.
“Those in dire need of assistance devices should approach us since that service is still being rendered. However, as a department we are set to increase our awareness campaigns to reach out to those in need,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minister Mliswa-Chikoka donated an assortment of groceries worth thousands of dollars to people with disabilities, with the business community and other parastatals also chipping in with various goods.