Govt officials shunning us, people with disability claim

Tanzania Federation of Disabled People's Organisation in Tanzania (SHIVYAWATA)

 Disabled people in Shinyanga have blamed government officials over failure to cooperate with their association.

The secretary of the Tanzania Federation of Disabled People's Organisation in Tanzania (SHIVYAWATA) in Mtwara, Abdallah Chiwaula, said some government leaders have been shunning activities that it organized.

He was speaking during celebrations to mark the World Day for the rights of people with physical challenges held at the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCT) premises recently.

He said the biggest obstacle for the association in implementing disabled people’s rights in the region is the absence of cooperation from government leaders from the village, ward, division, district to the region. He said this causes the group to fail in the fight for its basic rights.

According to the secretary, one of the biggest hurdles that SHYVYAWATA faces in carrying out its activities and safeguarding members’ rights, is lack of cooperation from government officials at village, ward, division and other levels in the region.

However, he said, the association has continued with efforts to ensure that they get the officials’ cooperation. Further, the association makes sure that it is involved in development activities, he said.

However, the government still does not help such groups, he said, lamenting:
“When I look around this room I feel very sad since we invited many government officials but only a few have turned up. This shows how leaders do not appreciate activities of our association.”

Speaking at the same occasion, the association chairman, Abdallah Mchindula, said the objective of the celebrations is to sensitize and create awareness about people with physical challenges.

This would in turn enable members of the public to support such people’s efforts and their dignity, he said, adding:

“Normally these celebrations take place on December 3 every year but, because of reasons beyond control, we failed to mark them on the appropriate day and instead changed to another date.”

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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