President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera has said Malawians should reflect through the eyes of persons with disabilities in order to evaluate whether interventions being put in place to improve their livelihoods are having meaningful and intended impacts.

He made the remarks Thursday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when he inaugurated this year’s Malawi Council for thee Handicapped (MACOHA) Flag Week.

Chakwera said a lot of interventions have been put in place aimed at promoting the plight of persons with disabilities, but people need to listen to the voices of the affected to see if these interventions are working.

Paying homage to the late Hon. Clement Chiwaya who lived with a disability and died from to a self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound, the President said Malawians should do much more in alleviating challenges person with disabilities are facing.

“The more I reflect on the work so many have done to empower persons with disabilities in the past 50 years, the more I realize that we have a long way to go to make persons with disabilities feel that they are in a new Malawi in which everyone prospers together…
“We should not deceive ourselves with the notion that we have done enough to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities. If persons with disabilities are themselves saying that we are not doing enough, then we must work as though we haven’t done anything at all. That is the new Malawi we want,” Chakwera added.

Board Chairperson of MACOHA, Dr Chiweza Bandawe said it was high time the country changes its perception that persons with disabilities are disabled.

Bandawe urged stakeholders to accord equal opportunities to everyone, including persons with disabilities.

This year’s Flag Week is being observed under the theme “50 Years of Empowering Persons with Disabilities”.

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