Sharon Buwerimwe, Chronicle Reporter
PEOPLE living with disabilities have the potential to contribute to the economic development of the country if they are empowered to use their skills.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Amon Murwira, said this while addressing delegates during the National Disability Expo in Bulawayo recently.
The Expo took place at the City Hall under the theme “Ensuring Inclusion and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities through Innovation and Technology.”
Prof Murwira said disability is a social construct that does not determine one’s skills level.
“We have five senses which are the sense of touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell. However, all these five senses don’t develop the world but consciousness. If we harvest our consciousness and think outside the box, we can also take part in the economic development of the country,” he said.
“No one is disabled, it is because of our limited imaginations and ignorance. We have labelled ourselves as people who are not able. It is all about capacity and ability.”
The Minister said people living with disability need skills, technology and innovation so that they create an occupation for themselves.
“It is our ability that can take us out of this poverty, we shouldn’t depend on donors. People living with disabilities are unique in their own different ways and they should use their skills and be innovative,” said Prof Murwira.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Judith Ncube said Government has made efforts to ensure that people living with disabilities are considered in policy making.
“We are aware of the difficult circumstances that people with disabilities are facing within our community. The Government has made sure that people living with disability are included in policy making. We have situations where people with disabilities are left vulnerable and not afforded access to services. The challenge of unemployment affects everyone in our country. However, the majority of people gathered here are people who suffer most when it comes to employment opportunities,” said Cde Ncube.
Special Advisor on National Disability Issues, Dr Joshua Malinga, also commended the works of the disability movement in the country.
“Our voices are now being heard because we are included in the Government. We have made inputs in politics, education systems and other social institutions,” he said.
Section 83 of the Constitution stipulates that Government should ensure that persons with disabilities have access to health and educational facilities among others to help them realise their physical and mental potential in society. — @sharonbuwe