By Kalabash Contributor
For the longest time disability issues have played second fiddle to other matters which are often meaningless with the sole intention of diverting the ordinary person’s attention from bread and butter issues.
Yet a great deal of our population is disabled. Most government buildings cannot be accessed in a wheel chair. This is just one sign that shows how insensitive government is to issues to do with disabilities.
That disabled people are routinely shut out of Zimbabwe’s transport, shops, sports arenas and toilets is not new. #21daysofactivism
— #21daysofactivism (@lilomatic) February 8, 2017
Its 2017 and Harare City Council is in the course installing a wheelchair ramp at Town house which is the city council’s head office has had no wheelchair ramps that make it easy for people in a wheel chair to access the building. While the constitution of Zimbabwe takes note of the disabled the situation on the ground is very little is being done to empower the disabled. Meanwhile the word empower is a word that has been thrown around for a reason different from its meaning. A word thrown around the ordinary people in order to pacify them.
While we are at it deliberating on the issues surrounding people with disabilities, let’s spare a thought for the disabled in the rural areas where the majority rely on subsistence farming. Spare a thought for the stigma in our communities around disabled people. What more of the majority of disabled in urban centres whom government hasn’t done much for them so instead the majority opt for begging in the streets. Surely a lot more can be done to change this.
The sad fact on the ground is that issues affecting disabled are intertwined to other issues the government needs to address such as the big elephant in the room which is turning around the economy. The disabled are still affected by unemployment and other issues that affect able bodied Zimbabweans, to top it off think of the stigma they have to endure.
As a way forward Zimbabwe need to progress to provide an equal opportunity between able bodied and disabled people. Our national budget allocates 800 000 dollars towards the elderly and the disabled, meanwhile development around the discussion of the disabled is yet to be noted.