The Centre for Disability Development Research Law and Policy has charged that the management and board for Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD) has failed to function to expectations of persons with disabilities in the country.
Disability Policy Analyst for Africa Professor Charles Mwape said that the agency has failed to function in line with the vision of government which is evidently outlined in the party manifesto for 2016 to 2021 of enhancing resources generation for the agency and creation of rehabilitation centers at districts level.
In a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today, Professor Charles Mwape disclosed that despite government doing its part of increase funding to ZAPD and also recalling all its employees who were dismissed from 17 farm centres, the management has still failed to interpret the party manifesto.
Professor Charles Mwape added that the agency has failed to interpret the party manifesto into programmes and policies as provided for the disability Act No. 6 of 2016.
He explained that this has resulted in the increase of persons with disability on the street and increase of street children who normally accompany their incapacitated parents.
He stated that the disability Act No.6 of 2012 and National Disability policy are a blue print vision of the government of “having persons with disabilities enjoying equal opportunities with others that are fundamental for living and human development by 2030.”
Professor Mwape pointed out that there is lack of progress by ZAPD to carry out the mandate as it has failed in providing for the promotion of employment to persons with disabilities, social protection, habitation and rehabilitation, in line with part IV Clause (32) to (38) of disability Act No. 6 of 2012.
He added that mismanagement of the agency has resulted to a total failure of creating 7,000 jobs for both persons with disabilities and other individuals as espoused by government vision.
He explained that it is sad on how the board has overlooked endorsement and concerns of cooperating partners on the appointment of director general and other senior’s officials which the current board has been doing without advertising for the positions.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Disability has appealed to President Edgar Lungu to appoint a special team that will review the performance of ZAPD for the last 7 years.
Professor Mwape , however, said the Centre is pleased with the effort made by the government to domesticate the 2008 United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) as well as to carry out a comprehensive review of the persons with disabilities act of 1996.
He said that if ZAPD will implement programs as stated in the government manifesto and persons with disabilities Act No. 6 of 2012, the agency will be able to create more than 10,000 direct jobs for both persons will disabilities and other individuals at districts level.