Disability Bill to pass, assures Malawi President

Malawi President Joyce Banda  has stressed the need for people with disabilities  to be supported for their lives to improve after members of Federation of Disability Organisation in Malawi (FEDOMA) asked her government to push the tabling and passing of Dissability Bill.

Disability Bill, which was drafted several years ago but has not yet been brought to Parliament, is important because it will enable persons with disability to ascertain and enforce their rights.

If passed the bill will mark a paradigm shift in the way persons with disability are treated in the country.

Mussa Chiwaula: Bring back Disability ministry

Speaking at her residence in Mudi, Blantyre on Thursday, President Banda said she has always worked with people with disabilities to ensure that problems that they face end.

“It has always been my calling to help underprivileged people including the disabled, I know that they face a lot of problems in their everyday life and as a mother and president I will make sure that I help them in any way I can,” said President Banda

In their presentation, Board Trustee of FEDOMA, Pastor Towera Masiku commended government for introducing the Ministry of Disability that has been in the fore front in lobbying for the rights of the disabled.

She however noted that parliament is yet to pass the much anticipated disability bill.

“We have been waiting for the disability bill for 8 years, failure to pass this bill is denying the rights of the disabled,” worried Masiku.

Executive Director of FEDOMA, Mussa Chiwaula complained that the country lacks important and clear policies and guidelines on issues of persons with disability that can help them access things easy.

“Malawi has no guidelines that can help us access things easily, for example, in most schools, learners with disabilities are not given support to understand or access facilities at most schools,” said Chiwaula.

The Organization said the problems could be eased if the Ministry responsible for Persons with disability is brought back and placed under the Office of the President and Cabinet to promote visibility of the issue.

The Malawi leader promised the delegation to look into the bill as she does not know why it has been delayed.

She said she will make sure the bill is brought to parliament at the next sitting.

President Banda ended her speech by saying: “ Let us move together with hope and with God’s help, we will get there.”

Parliament meets from May 18 for the budget session.

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