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‘Prioritise persons with disabilities’

By SIMON MUNTEMBA

GOVERNMENT has implored local authorities to prioritise offering employment opportunities to any qualified person with disability in various departments.

And Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Gary Nkombo has directed all local authorities to include persons with disabilities in the formation of Ward Development Committees (WDCs) to create an inclusive society.

According to the ministry’s public relations officer, Chila Namaiko, the minister said this when a delegation from the Zambia Federation of Disability Organisation (ZAFOD) led by its Director, MrJustine Bbakali paid a courtesy call at his office.

Mr Nkombo said as local authorities nominate and usher into office new WDC members, they should include qualified persons with disabilities in order to create an inclusive society.

He said it was the desire of the ministry to see local authorities enhance community participation through formation of inclusive WDCs which should not segregate in memberships.

Mr Nkombo emphasised that persons with disabilities should be part of the decision-making in all levels of national governance that includes the WDCs.

Mr Nkombo explained that with an increase in Constituency Development Fund to K25.7 million from K1.6 million per constituency, he was confident that the upward adjustment of the funds would create economic opportunities for more persons with disabilities to venture in life-skills projects.

In response to Mr Bbakali, who bemoaned low recruitment levels of persons with disabilities with skilled qualifications in Councils, Mr Nkombo said the ministry would engage Local Authorities to do so.

Mr Bbakali said persons with disabilities had in the previous years been left out to serve in WDCs which prevented them to give inputs in matters of national development.

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