Goodwill Ambassador for Persons with Disabilities Elijah Ngwale, has called on President Edgar Lungu to rename the Zambia Institute of Special Education (ZAMISE) after First Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda in honour of his 97th birthday which falls today.
Mr Ngwale has suggested that the name of the institution should instead be changed to Kenneth Kaunda Education College for Persons with Disabilities.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS on the sidelines of a birthday celebration in Lusaka for persons with disabilities which was held on the eve of Dr Kaunda’s birthday in Lusaka yesterday, noted with concern that there is no institution with a bias towards special education and the plight of the disabled that has been named after the first republican president.
Mr Ngwale said Dr Kaunda contributed immensely to the wellbeing of people living with disabilities during his time as republican president.
He said under Dr Kaunda’s tenure, his government’s philosophy of humanism favoured the disabled more than even democracy.
Mr Ngwale said renaming the institution after Dr Kaunda would be fitting considering that the former president is also a goodwill ambassador for persons with disabilities.
He enlisted numerous success stories the first republican president scored for people living with disabilities.
“It was also during the time of Dr Kaunda that he built National Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Persons with Disabilities in Ndola. It was also during the time of Dr Kaunda that the government took over education for persons with disabilities because previously it was under missionaries,” Mr Ngwale said.
He said President Lungu has a listening ear expressing confidence that he will act upon the call.
“President Lungu is a consulting President. On 5 March, 2015 His Excellency called me to State House, asked me what he can do for him, I asked him to reinstate 300 people who were declared redundant by the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities in 2013. The people were reinstated,” Mr Ngwale said.
Dr Kenneth Kaunda is celebrating his 97th birthday today 28th April, 2021.