Pressure continues to mount on President Bingu
Mutharika who is refusing parliament to meet for fear of
losing bulk of his members of parliament in the
implementation of floor crossing Section 65.
On the latest to ask for the reconvening of the august
House in the Malawi Union of for the Blind (MUB).
Addressing newspersons in Blantyre, the Executive
Director of MUB Ezikiel Kumwenda highlighted the need for
parliament to meet and pass the Disability Policy Bill,
which was drafted in 2003.
"We people of disabilities drafted a disability policy
in 2003 but until today, parliament has not yet passed
it. We know there are many equally important issues to be
tackled during the next sitting of parliament, but we are
asking Members of Parliament to seriously consider
passing the bill," said Kumwenda.
He said the bill tackles issues like their right to
education and access to HIV and AIDS information among
other challenges the blind face in their lives.
Once the bill is passed, Kumwenda explained that
persons with disabilities would fully enjoy their right
to education, travelling and access to HIV and AIDS
information just like the able people do.
MUB director also said it was key for parliament to
resume and seriously consider to pass the disability bill
to allow most of the blind and visually impaired people
to manage to vote in the next year's polls.
"It is the wish of every partially visually impaired
and blind person to vote on his or her own in the 2009
elections. We no longer want someone else to vote on our
behalf," he said.
"When others vote on our behalf, we are not 100
percent sure that they have indeed voted for the
candidate we wanted. We feel that some of them vote twice
for their own favourite candidates and not ours,"
Malawi Union for the Blind was established in 1994
with the aim of among others, looking at the needs and
interests of the visually impaired people in Malawi.
Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi
(FEDOMA) has viewed Malawi government through the
ministry responsible for Persons with Disability and the
Elderly to be favouring the elderly against persons with
"We have observed that the playing field in the
ministry is not levelled and this leaves the disabled at
a disadvantage in accessing essential services such as
schools and hotels," Fedoma Executive Director, Mussa
He made the remarks at a Human Rights Consultative
Committee meeting held at the Lilongwe Hotel in the
Chiwaula noted that the 2007/08 national budget has
allocation reduced compared to previous year's
Fedoma director persuaded government to map out
strategies to complement the existing policies to empower
persons with disabilities noting they constitute 4.2% of
the population of Malawi.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry, Elias Ngongondo
dismissed Chiwaula charges saying the launching and
implementation of the disability policy recently by the
ministry is a clear manifestation that government is
committed in promoting lives of persons with
"Everyone knows that some persons become disabled
because of ageing and that disability and ageing have
some factors in common. So to make it easy when
implementing programs at the grass root government
decided that the two should be handled under one roof,"
The Principal Secretary said government would
rehabilitate the dilapidated structures that were once
MYP training bases into care centres for persons with
disabilities and the elderly.
According to Ngongondo, the care centres, which have
been allocated K72 million for its establishment, will be
in Neno, Ngapane in Makanjira, Lilongwe and Mzimba.
He said two people from each constituency throughout
the country would be accommodated at the 400 roomed care