Columnist/Opinion

Cases of disability need due attention

  By Cuthbert Mashoko

The recent case of a police officer with a disabled child who was seeking a transfer in order to be close to his disabled child, whose application went viral on social media opens a can of worms on the plight of people with disabilities in our community.

The response of the immediate boss who highlighted in red ink on the leaked application that the officer should choose between staying at his present station or resigning in 24 hours, apart from being unethical, lacks a professional Bia-standard.

This shows lack of institutional compliance to issues of disability in many organisations. No matter how issues of disability have been paraded, many organisations are not walking the talk in practicing the gospel of inclusivity and creating a conducive environment for PWDs so that they make a contribution in all spheres of life, just like their “able-bodied” counter parts.

Discrimination and labeling of PWDs, which sometimes extends to immediate family members is driven by cultural stereotypes. This has seen many parents and family members distancing themselves from their disabled kith and kin.

 Some members at work places shy to disclose the condition of their disabled children/relatives in order to avoid harassment and labeling based on negative misconceptions which people have for PWDs. This has seen many choosing to keep their disabled children/relatives under lock and key in an attempt to hide them from the public.

Credit goes to the ZRP Commissioner General, Godwin Matanga for rescuing the situation, just in time, and making the right decision that resonates with Government policy. As such, it is important for all government departments, as drivers of government policy to take hid of Government’s position on issues of disability.

The Government of Zimbabwe has zero-tolerance on discrimination and labeling of PWDs  as premised in its policies which seek inclusivity and equal opportunity.

Realisation of Vision 2030 is premised on the notion of leaving no place and no one behind ,as such taking cognisance of the interests of people living with disabilities is a key step which moves this constituency together with the whole Nation towards the envisaged dream.

In the case of this Police Officer , it is important for his wife , who is a teacher, to be considered for a transfer so that the couple attends to their child .

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