Representatives of teachers with disabilities on Tuesday met President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa offices.
The meeting follows the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ)’s call several weeks ago to meet President Mnangagwa so that the union could appraise him of the challenges faced by teachers with disabilities.
Speaking to journalists soon after the meeting, PTUZ secretary for teachers with disabilities, Abiot Moyo said that the indaba was positive and fruitful. He said:
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We had a positive, fruitful and productive engagement with the President. The meeting was held at our request.
The issues that we raised are transport, visual impairment, albinism and wheelchairs, among others.
Other issues related to our assistance whose allowances are taking long to be paid.
The President directed that the Public Service Commission look into it.
The teachers’ union also submitted a written paper to President Mnangagwa detailing their grievances and outlining their recommendations. Part of the paper reads:
There should be a meaningful disability grant. Currently, our members have the problem that they incur extra costs when travelling.
Some are accompanied by helpers who themselves have to pay fares when accompanying the disabled member.
The law should make it mandatory for private and public facilities accessed by members of the public to be disabled-friendly.
Currently, there is only a moral, not legal obligation on the owners of public buildings to make sure they are accessible to all including the disabled.