President Arthur Peter Mutharika says his administration has put as a priority policy changes to ensure that persons with disabilities are part and parcel of the country development agenda at all levels through inclusive participation and creation of conducive environment for personal development.
He was speaking a couple of days ago at Sanjika Palace during an audience with members of Federation Of Disability Organizations in Malawi (FEDOMA) who paid a courtesy call on him.
The President highlighted the need for policy changes in view of long-time segregation in society that has disadvantaged persons with disabilities in many sectors.
“Persons with disabilities often face discrimination and exclusion from education, employment, information, healthcare services, welfare programmes, development programmes, communication, infrastructure, transport services, even business loans! However, we are reviewing the Disability legislation in order to sufficiently protect and promote the rights of Persons with Disabilities. The fact remains, that persons with disability need more attention and support. People with disabilities are blessed with other abilities that need our support to realise their potential. But with patriotism, integrity and hard work, we will together develop this country,” said the President.
He added; “My Government takes seriously the needs of Persons with disabilities. Because they are also human, they have human rights as well. And they deserve to be treated fairly.”
The meeting with the President capped a successful Disability Month which ran from 3 November to 3 December 2016. The month was closed with a colourful commemoration of the 2016 International Day of Persons with Disabilities at Luchenza last week.
Professor Mutharika recalled how successful this year’s Disability Month has been in line with government’s current reforms on the welfare of persons with disability.
“This past month, we have raised awareness on disabilities. But in this past month, we have also confirmed that disability is not an inability. We have seen the many skills that are untapped among people with disabilities. We have seen credible business persons, who are doing very well and employing many other Malawians. We have met very intelligent and innovative young men and women living with disabilities. We have enjoyed incredible music and other performances by persons with disabilities. There is a lot that people with disabilities can contribute to our country.”
The President warned all those who mistreat persons with disabilities that government will not condone such acts. The FEDOMA representatives thanked President Mutharika for the stance he has taken to ensure that all persons with disabilities in the country participate in national building without any impediment