Africa Jan 5, 2017
Persons with disabilities have called for the amendment or complete repeal of the Disabled Persons Act (DPA), saying it must be mandatory for government to ensure access at its buildings.
Midlands Disability Pressure Group, Young Voices coordinator Timothy Mpofu said the DPA Act must make it mandatory for government buildings to have disability friendly facilities.
He said instead of realigning the Act with the new constitution there was need for a new bill that caters for the needs of persons with disabilities.
“We express great displeasure with regards to the Disabled Persons Act (Chapter 27:01) of 1992 that has very little to offer to persons with disabilities,” Mpofu told Newzimbabwe.com in an interview.
“There is no need for the DPA’s realignment with the new constitution. It must be repealed so that a new bill can be drafted in line with the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities whose provisions the government of Zimbabwe ratified in September 2013.
“The DPA created a lee way for government not to make its buildings compulsorily accessible by persons with disabilities but makes it an offence to other players such as the private sector.”
Mpofu said the new Act must make it compulsory for all buildings to have accessible facilities whether in public institutions or in the private sector.
The pressure group also called for each province to have a parliamentary representative, inclusive education, educational grants for persons with disabilities, among other demands.