For years, people with disabilities have complained about lack of access to buildings in the country, public transport and general lack of government support.
The situation is about to change now following the House of Assembly’s approval of Zimbabwe’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Representatives of disabled people now want the process speeded up so that changes that can improve their lives are implemented soon.
Farai Mukuta, director of the National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped (NASCOH), says people with disabilities are overwhelmed but want the Senate to follow suit.
NASCOH is a coalition of more than 70 organizations representing people with disabilities in the country.
Masimba Kuchera, director of the Center for Disability and Development, says though long over due, the move by the House of Assembly is important, particularly for people with disabilities who will benefit a lot.
Pushing for ratification of the convention, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Paurina Mparaiwa, said there is need to include people with disabilities in all stages of implementation.
Zimbabwe was the first country in Africa to have disability legislation in Africa in 1992 and the second in the world after the United States but it was never implemented.
People with disabilities believe the ratification of the UN Convention will make it easy to rationalise the legislation.