Government urged to cater for persons with disabilities in Gokwe

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 Sithabile A Ndlela

Gokwe community, Radio Ambassador, John Siyagijima has pleaded with the government to consider a more budget for persons with disabilities while also advising the community to take the voices of the persons with disability seriously so that they are not left behind.

In an interview with this reporter, Siyagijima said that persons with disabilities in Gokwe community are not very much covered although at times the government is trying its best to help them. But he said the assistance is too little because most persons with disabilities have no wheelchairs.

“In my community, the Voices of persons with disabilities are not taken seriously and into consideration. I have noticed a lot of times even at the village heads’ meetings their views are regarded as useless.

“In my community, it is a shame that the voices of persons with disabilities are not heard even if they raise their voices like parroting birds they are unheard. This is because of the attitude of our people, they only think that the voice of the person with a disability is only shouted when she/he is saying, Ndinokumbirawo rubatsiro hama dzangu (asking for help) yet that is not the matter. At times these people are of great help in the community, taking for example the one talking to you is disabled, but I am a teacher by profession and a journalist by calling, but as I say right now I am a helpful asset in the community despite my disability,” said Siyagijima.

Siyagijima said that in his community none of the persons with disabilities has the courage to take part in politics because of the way they are being treated in the community.

“Proverbially speaking it is said, ‘Charity begins at home so they see how they are treated that is why they shun being into the political arena, they feel being highly marginalised, belittled and downtrodden too”, Siyagijima explained.

Even in the education department, the schools in Gokwe have no furniture, toilets classrooms, and assembly points that can accommodate persons with disabilities.

“Here in Gokwe the schools are just open they incorporate both they have a common type of inclusive education system, on toilets and other disabled-friendly units there are no such gadgets in most of Gokwe communities as to cater for the persons with disabilities. In most schools no ramps even the toilet holes used about 95% of them are the squat type which becomes more difficult and painful to be used by persons with disabilities,” said Siyagijima.

Siyagijima pleaded for assistance from the government, local businessmen, civic society organisations, and other well-wishers.

“If only the government tries to put more budget on the welfare of the persons with disabilities I hope and trust that this will help curb this predicament. We also call upon the business community members to chip in with funds to help their local communities, helping people living with disabilities and also it needs every Zimbabwean to have a positive mind towards the persons with disabilities in Zimbabwe,” pleaded Siyagijima.

Siyagijima, however, commended the youths in his community because they treat persons with disabilities fairly.

“Generally the youth due to Inclusion they experience at schools treat persons with disabilities positively I see no negativity on them, and I am proud of them,” he said.

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