The Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma) on Thursday met President Joyce Banda at Mudi House in Blantyre where they raised a number of issues affecting the disabled.
Fedoma, led by its chairperson Towera Masiku, told the President that a Disability Bill, designed to safeguard and push for needs of persons with disabilities in areas of health, education and social circles, has not been passed in Parliament for eight years now.
Masiku said there is an outcry that the disabled are living an unbearable life because most of them depend on others for support.
She said the removal of the Ministry for Persons with Disabilities and transferring of its roles to the Ministry of Gender, Child and Community Development, was another setback because it gave an impression that issues of disability were not a priority.
Said Masiku: â€œThere is urgent need for government to speed up the enactment of the long-awaited Disability Bill which has been in limbo for the last eight years. Delay to have it passed is subjecting many persons with disabilities to unacceptable discrimination.â€
In her response, Banda said she did not understand why the Disability Bill has not yet been passed, pledging she was going to do everything possible to have it passed. She told the Fedoma executive that there was also a need to lobby for it.
Banda, who ascended to power following the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika on April 5, said she started working with Fedoma well before she ascended to the presidency. She directed Fedoma to identify some children with disability so that she should support their education.