WE are disappointed that after 90 days plus in office, our expectations have continued to be neglected and overlooked by the new dawn administration, the Consortium of organisation of persons with disabilities has said.

Consortium secretary Frankson Musukwa has complained that, “we have written a couple of letters asking for engagement and social dialogue with President Hakainde Hichilema but we have never received any response or acknowledgement.”

He said President Hichilema and the UPND must be reminded that 75 percent of persons with disabilities voted for change and hope for a better governance system that is inclusive and promoting equal opportunities for all inclusive persons with disabilities.

Dr  Musukwa said the organisations had high hopes and expectations  from President Hichilema as a people’s  President who during campaigns  promised to pay particular  attention  to needs of persons  with disabilities.  Dr Musukwa said people with disabilities did not need Bill 10 as the country has enough laws to deal with participation in governance and decision-making process.

He said the UPND manifesto on page 33 to 34 promotes participation of persons with disabilities in governance and other key decision-making, which was not happening.

Dr Musukwa alleged that the new administration had no clear policy direction on disability inclusion as can be seen so far with key appointments and nominations.

He wondered why other people could be making decisions on their behalf when they had qualified and competent persons with disabilities who could make meaningful contributions to national development if given the opportunity.

Dr Musukwa said there was need to address issues of inequality, injustice and exclusion being perpetrated by those with instruments of power by ensuring persons with disabilities were part and parcel of decision-making and governance processes.

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