By Nkosana Dlamini
ZIMBABWE’S mainstream political parties have pledged to draft in people with disabilities during their candidate selection processes for this year’s harmonised elections.
Speaking at a panel discussion on elections this past week, New Patriotic Front spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said the Zanu PF offshoot was in the process of preparing its election manifesto and were sure to factor in disability in both policy direction and candidate selection.
MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora also said his party has placed disability issues at the centre of its programming as already shown by its setting up of a disability council headed by a visually impaired party member to deal with disability issues.
He added, “We now have a disability quota. We did not prescribe the number because we did not know how many they were in the structures.”
To enhance the integration of people with disability into its leadership structures, he said, the main opposition has exempted like members from paying the mandatory candidate selection fees being demanded from those seeking party tickets for elections due this year.
Zanu PF representative and State presidential advisor Christopher Mutsvangwa said his party was also committed to uplifting people with disability.
“I am very touched by the question of disability,” he said.
“It is a constituency which troubles me because the biggest contribution to disability in Zimbabwe was the war and most of those victims are war veterans and even extending to mental disabilities.”
Linda Masarira (pictured), spokesperson for the Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T faction said her party will ensure that 15 percent of all seats being contested go to people with disability.