Let’s walk the talk on disability: Minister Mavima

Manica Post

THE country must step up efforts to include disability issues when developing policies, legislations and development programmes, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Speaking during the handover of assistive devices for people with disabilities at Nerutanga Primary School in Buhera last week, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Professor Paul Mavima said people with disabilities are vehicles for development.

“I strongly urge Government ministries, traditional leaders and development partners to mainstream and include disability each time they develop policies, legislations and development programmes.

Min Paul Mavhima

“In pursuit of the National Disability Inclusion Agenda, my ministry is walking the talk by employing people with disabilities to occupy key strategic decision-making positions and this has been clearly demonstrated by the recruitment of Dr Edmos Mtetwa (Chief Director-Department of Social Development and Department of Disability Affairs) and Mr Shumba Nyeperayi (Deputy Director in the Department of Disability Affairs).

“This also includes a number of social workers with disabilities deployed in various districts and communities across the country. In my view, the outstanding performance of the above stated managers clearly demonstrates that disability does not mean inability,” he said.

Min Paul Mavhima

Minister Mavima said the move to upgrade the Orthopaedic Workshop at Ruwa Rehabilitation Centre is meant to eliminate environmental and attitudinal barriers that hinder the participation of persons with disabilities in economic, social and political issues.

“We will continue to make efforts to ensure that our Orthopaedic Workshop is turned into an industrial hub where modern assistive devices are manufactured.

Min Paul Mavhima

“In addition, I will also extend an invitation to our institutions of higher learning to encourage their respective industrial hubs to produce assistive technologies that are disability-friendly.

“I would like to urge our development partners to compliment Government’s efforts by investing in smart assistive technologies in pursuit of a rights based National Disability Inclusive Agenda,” said Minister Mavima.

Min Paul Mavhima

He said the agenda dovetails into Government’s thrust of leaving no one behind.

“May I draw your attention to the fact that this event represents an elaborate policy thrust by Government to leave no one and no place behind in its quest to attaining an upper middle-income society by 2030.

Min Paul Mavhima

“This policy thrust finds expression in the National Development Strategy (NDS1) that has treated disability as a cross-cutting development issue, showing the level of seriousness with which Government is treating disability issues,” he said.

Persons with disabilities received a wide range of assistive devices such as wheelchairs, collapsible white canes, prosthesis, including artificial limbs, spectacles, crutches and sunscreen lotions used by persons with albinism.

All persons with disabilities who received assistive devices went through individual technical assessment to determine the suitability of their assistive devices

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