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High-level commitment to addressing disability: President Mnangagwa donates wheelchairs

Recipients of the wheelchairs during the handover at the Disability Expo

By Chimeno Azriel

In a demonstration of high-level commitment to addressing disability, President Emmerson Mnangagwa handed over 130 wheelchairs to needy persons in Marondera.

The wheelchairs were handed over to the beneficiaries by Mashonaland East Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Hon Apolonia Munzverengi who presided over the donation on behalf of the President at a disability expo held in the town recently.

The wheelchairs were sourced by Green Light International Trust ( GLIT ) with the help of Paras Projects in partnership with the Special Advisor in the Office of the President and Cabinet on Disability issues, Mr. Joshua Malinga.

The 10th edition of the National Disability Expo was held at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera last month and President Emmerson Mnangagwa donated 130 wheelchairs which are expected to be shared among people with disabilities in all the ten provinces.

President Mnangagwa was represented by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland East Hon Apollonia Munzverengi who handed over the wheelchairs and officially opened the three-day event.

Running under the theme “Building a Disability Inclusive and Participatory Society, Leaving No Person and No Place Behind”, the expo showcased products, technologies, crafts and other services for people with disabilities.

In an interview with this publication, the Director of GLIT Mr Tawanda Makwiramiti, said the Trust was happy to work with the Government and through its partner, South African-based Paras Projects.

The trust managed to source the wheelchairs and handed them over to the President. They will be distributed to all the provinces in an inclusive manner so that no one is left behind.

“We are glad as a Trust that we managed to source the wheelchairs and thanks to our partner, Paras Projects who helped us to come up with 130 wheelchairs with the support from the Special Advisor in the office of the President and Cabinet Disability Desk Hon Joshua Malinga, we handed them to the President who later donated them to the needy during the Disability Expo,” said Mr Makwiramiti.

In a written letter, the selection of the beneficiaries is going to be done in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s Rehabilitation Department and the Ministry of Public Service. Labour and Social Welfare’s Disability Affairs section.

The GLIT exhibition stand showcased services that they offer including the new sustainable shelter home for developments.

“We managed to exhibit during the expo and we showcased our new sustainable shelter home for developments,” said the Director and CEO of GLIT.

During the Disability Expo, the trust had the privilege to meet with Mr Tawengwa from Mushandirapamwe family who offered a piece of land to the trust for agricultural activities so that they farm and sustain the children with severe disabilities for the Centre.

“We are glad to inform you that we were privileged to be offered a piece of land so that we utilise and sustain the children with severe disabilities for the Centre. Thanks to Mr Tawengwa who gave us the land, we are going to utilise it and help those with severe disabilities at the centre,” said Mr Makwiramiti.

Persons with disabilities are now doing amazing works that can be done by able-bodied persons and various disability organisations are moving away from the charity model for the disabled and marching towards a progressive mindset approach in the society where they do not give disabled people fish but empower them with the skill to catch fish.

Around 100 exhibitors showcased their products during the expo and it was noticed that within associations, there are persons with disabilities who are gifted in different areas and some of them showcased products they produced in different sectors, including agriculture.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende