Precious Manomano Herald Reporter
Government in collaboration with United Nations organisations and other private players will work towards strengthening coordination systems and implementing effective disability programmes for the reduction of stigma and discrimination that affects the rights of people with disabilities including women and girls.
Government adopted the National Disability Programme in June this year, a development meant to address the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities.
In an interview with the Herald, UNESCO Head of Unit of Social and human sciences Mr Phinith Chanthalangsy said there is a need to join hands and support the Government to efficiently implement the new policy.
He said it is critical that Government puts in place relevant mechanisms to make sure that the new policy is implemented in all sectors to ensure the economic empowerment of people living with disabilities.
“The challenge we are facing now is to ensure that coordination is in place so that the different ministries could really deliver disability programmes in a compliant manner which is right based and inclusive to everyone.
“What we want to achieve in two years is we want to assist Government technically in coming up with the suitable mechanism that is allowing the Government to coordinate, monitor and accounts for the implementation of the National disability policy,” he said.
The National Disability Policy calls on Government and other stakeholders to ensure access to employment for such persons and strive to ensure that 15 percent of their workforce are in all sectors comprise people living with disabilities.
People living with disabilities are a key constituency in Zimbabwe and are estimated to be about 1, 4 million.
Zimbabwe was also one of the countries to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2013 and remains one of the few countries in Africa with legislation that specifically caters for people living with disabilities.
Recently, President Mnangagwa launched the National Disability and the Labour Migration Policies to ensure everyone can participate.
The two policies are part of Government efforts to ensure inclusivity as the country embarks on its development path and the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) was disability-inclusive and acknowledges Diaspora engagement.
The attainment of an upper middle-income society as envisaged by Vision 2030 requires the contribution of everyone in society with no one being left behind.