Federation for Disability Organizations in Malawi (Fedoma) will on Wednesday evening host a debate for Secretary Generals (SGs) for the country’s four main political parties on issues affecting people with disabilities.
Under the theme ‘Disability beyond 2014’, the debate will be held at Comesa Hall in Blantyre barely five days after Zodiak Broadcasting Service (ZBS) hosted presidential running-mates debate at same venue.
Fedoma acting Executive Director, Action Amos told Nyasa Times the debate would mainly focus on main political parties’, United Democratic Front (UDF), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Peoples Party (PP) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) attention on disability issues.
“Main aim is to get to understand what political parties have in store for persons with disabilities. We have a Disability Act and other provisions such as Disability Fund that the incoming government should commit to fulfil,” said Amos.
Amos said Fedoma decided to host the debate to allow political parties articulate their manifestos on challenges people with disability face in regards to accessibility of physical infrastructure, access to services and information among others.
He added: “We need to know what measures have they considered to make sure that these improve. We are beyond the period when people are still been carried by hands to access services; infrastructures such as airport, government buildings including MBC, Capitol hill among many”.
Fedoma is expected to engage other political parties in similar debate later after hosting secretary generals from PP, UDF, MCP and DPP.
Debates aside, the organization is expected to conduct civic voter education across the country inorder to get to know how inclusive the political parties and independent candidates’ plans at constituency level are.
“Persons with disabilities have suffered enough. Persons with albinism and epilepsy who rely heavily on the health sector what is in store for them. Rehabilitation facilities nearly closed last year in the face of cashgate because there isn’t money to run such institutions. What will those in power will bring to rectify the situation”.
Meanwhile, Amos has called on for a violence free campaign, saying “We do not have legs to run, we do not have eyes to see or ears to hear when such fracas happens” how committed are the politicians to protect us”.
Malawians are expected to go to polls on May 20th to elect Parliamentarians, President and Local Government Councillors.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :