United Democratic Front (UDF) 2014 presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi has been applauded for having a first-ever sign language interpreter at a rally he addressed in the party’s stronghold district of Mangochi over the last weekend.
It was the first time in the history of Malawi political rallies for Atupele to use the sign language for the deaf.
One of the commentators, Friday Chiwaya says: “Perhaps it was not just a mere coincidence that the youthful 2014 presidential candidate broke the record in a constituency whose Member of Parliament, Dr. Clement Chiwaya, once served as Minister of People with Disabilities in a UDF elected government.”
Writing on Marapost, he adds: “People with hearing impairments, just like anyone else, have the right to freedom of association and access to information regardless of their situation. But for a long time, they have been marginalized in most cases; a thing that denies them the opportunity to meaningfully take part in matters that affect them and the nation.”
He further wrote: “Time has come for politicians to start making strides towards building a more inclusive society by embracing minority groups in our midst. One only hopes that the gesture as demonstrated by the UDF torch bearer will set precedent for all politicians, more so now as we head for general elections which require everyone making informed decisions on whom to vote for based on their manifestos.”
Atupele told crowds that his party will dislodge the People’s Party (PP) administration and change the manner government is run.
Most countries surrounding us are developing and progressing economically. They have access to good health and education, but Malawi continues to be poor and poorer.
“Most of us cannot afford a bag of maize now at K11 000 (about $28). There are no drugs in hospitals. Is this what we want?”
He said only a few politicians are getting rich and not sharing the burden most Malawians are facing in the name of austerity measures by government, urging his followers to usher in the UDF administration during next year’s polls to change things.