By Pemphero Musowa

Federation Disability Organisations of Malawi (Fedoma) has developed a manifesto for persons with disabilities to ensure they are not left behind in the 2019 Malawi Tripartite election which falls on May 21.

Fedoma says the development of the disability manifesto marks a new era of meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in the development of the nation.

The organisation says the manifesto represents the first ever effort to work together in providing recommendations and ideas for concrete action for laws, policies and programs that address the everyday realities and challenges that Persons with Disabilities face.

According to Fedoma’s current number 300,000 citizens with disabilities will participate in 2019 and 40 standing as candidates.

“Persons with disabilities in Malawi must have access to employment and decent work of their own choice in the open and inclusive labour market, without discrimination in all employment aspects on an equal basis with others,” reads part of the manifesto in regards to work and employment.

Security for people with disabilities, especially those with albinism has been the prime focus due to the brutal abductions and killings.

Fedoma says people with disabilities must live in safety and have effective security pointing out that their lives, property and relations must be effectively protected.

“They must participate fully and be included in all aspects of the society without having any fear. They must be free and be protected from all forms of violence,” reads the document.

On issues of participation in political and public life Fedoma says they want to ensure that persons with disabilities should be considered in public appointments to ensure equal participation.

The manifesto also says it will provide framework for farm subsidies and agricultural loans to persons with disabilities as well as provide appropriate modern technologies to farmers with disabilities.

Fedoma says they want deliberate strategies devised to promote markets for products, goods and services produced/supplied by persons with disabilities to economically empower persons with disabled.

Further, the organisation wants an establishment of a stand-alone Ministry of Disability or appointment of a disability adviser located under the office of the president and cabinet that is adequately funded and capacitated.

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