Zim makes history in disability legislation


Zim makes history in disability legislation

THE SouthernTIMES Mar 19, 2018

    Gracious Madondo

    Zimbabwe Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Petronella Kagonye says Zimbabwe prides itself in being one of the first countries to promulgate disability specific legislation.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with South African Deputy Minister of Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zuluin on Monday in Harare, Kagonye said the Zimbabwean constitution guarantees the removal of obstacles in the lives of disabled people.

    She said physically challenged people’s rights to self-reliance, family life and protection from abuse, access to treatment including access to specific facilities were al enshrined in the constitution.

     “Zimbabwe prides itself in having been one of the first African countries to promulgate disability specific legislation. We have a comprehensive framework that offer social protection to persons with disabilities grounded within the context of rights based approaches’’ Kagonye said. 

    “The legal framework provides for direct Parliamentary allocation of financial resources into the Disabled Persons Fund, established specifically for the maintenance of Persons with disabilities” she added.

    Minister Kagonye said government implementation of policies such as the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimASSET) aimed at empowering persons with disabilities is critical to the development of the nation because they are affected mostly by poverty which restricts their prospects for advancement.

    “My Ministry participates in the Social Services and Poverty Eradication cluster, which is one of the four results based strategic clusters ZimASSET namely, Food Security and Nutrition, Social Services and Poverty Eradication, Infrastructure and Utilities and Value Addition and Beneficiation” she said.

    Kagonye also added that it is in line with the United Nations Standards Rules on the Equalisation of Employment Opportunities for persons with disabilities that Zimbabwe propagated a policy on the issue of employment for persons with disabilities to guard against discrimination in both the employment and deployment process.

    Kagonye applauded the South African’s government vision of ensuring inclusive development through harnessing the capacity and relevance gained by the participation of people with disabilities in the development agenda in the SADC region and beyond.

    The South African Deputy Minister for Social Development is on a three-day visit to promote the empowerment of people living with disabilities in the two neighbouring countries.


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