by Minenhle Moyo
People with disabilities have decried the levels of corruption in the country citing increased costs of living, barriers to economic means of production, lack of employment as part of the challenges it has brought to them.
Speaking during a Training Workshop for People With Disabilities (PWDs) on corruption, facilitated by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ), Pick Mkomwa, Director of Mkomwa Foundation trust said the high levels of corruption in Zimbabwe are further increasing the costs of living for People With Disabilities (PWDs), as they already have a higher cost of living.
He said unfair distribution of economic means of production such as land, loans among others perpetuated poverty even for the next generations.
“It is a public secret that People With Disabilities need funds in order to live comfortable lives. Our costs further increase because of corruption. We no longer access free medication and other services that are rightfully ours because those in power are abusing the resources at their disposal.”
“The fact that People With Disabilities (PWDs) cannot access financial means such as loans from the banks to start up or fund their projects makes it even harder for them to meet their daily costs,” he said.
One of the participants Paida Moyo bemoaned lack of access to assisted devices such as wheelchairs.
“Most of us do not have wheelchairs because the funds that are meant for our welfare are channeled towards others’ expenses which do not benefit us.”
“The reason why this happens is that we lack knowledge when it comes to our rights. We need more of these training sessions so that together with communities, we are knowledgeable enough to claim for what rightfully belongs to us,” said Moyo.
Practitioner Tariro Gurure urged People With Disabilities (PWDs) to take part in policy-making processes such as public meetings in order to craft policies that will work in their favor.
“Policy gaps relating to PWDs will only get wider because our voice is not there in policy-making processes. I urge all of us here to take part in public hearings and other national programs so that we are able to push our agenda as a collective. This will ensure that policies made will enable us to acquire economic means of production, assisted devices, in turn, decreasing our cost of living,” she said.
While other thought that community sensitisation on disabilities issues was part problem solving, others suggested funding of radio programs to educate masses on disabilities issues.