81 persons with disabilities embrace politics

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EIGHTY one persons with different disabilities have embraced the calling of active politics and have been trained to effectively carry out their duties.

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In a groundbreaking development, Persons with Disabilities Political Dialogue Network chaiperson Josephine Shinaka, unveiled the success of the “Strengthening the Political Participation of Persons with Disabilities in Zambia”.

Shinaka who is also part of the technical working group, comprising political parties, civil society, among others, disclosed this yesterday during the year-end press conference at Zambia National Women’s Lobby.

She highlighted the highs and the lows of the year but was glad that 81 persons with disabilities acquired adequate knowledge and skills to actively participate in politics.

“And at least over 50% of the participants joined political parties of their choice,” she added.

Shinaka acknowledged the proactive steps taken by political parties, that have begun to review their documents, constitutions and manifestoes to include measures that guarantee active participation of men and women with disabilities.

The Technical Working Group Chairperson Kaumba Hakachima called for collaboration as she noted Zambia faced a significant gap in prioritizing disability issues, prompting the need for concerted efforts.

Hakachima emphasised on collaboration, with the government playing a crucial role in policy implementation and law enforcement.

Hakachima expressed optimism about government support and creating an enabling environment for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the country’s affairs.

“We anticipate a positive response from the government to enhance the agenda for disability inclusion,” she affirmed.

Meanwhile, the vice chairperson of the Technical Working Group, Peter Mwanang’ombe, emphasised the urgent need to address hate and discrimination against persons with disabilities.

Mwanang’ombe called or documentation and intervention by stakeholders, including the Christian Churches Monitoring Group, to hold parities or political players accountable within the legal framework in cases of discrimination or hate instigation.

Mwanang’ombe also shed light on the group’s focus, monitoring corrupt practices hindering disability inclusion in political processes and encouraging of political parties to adopt persons with disabilities as candidates and proposes incentives for resource mobilization.

By Moses Makwaya

Kalemba December 30, 2023

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