Mbabane: Former Federation of Disabled people in Eswatini (FODSWA), Mandla Methula, has decried discrimination on the disabled in the food distributions whose custodian are the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA).
Methula said the Bucopho in the various communities across the country are ignoring the fact that the disabled fall under the group of the most vulnerable and should in fact be given the priority when distributing the food parcels, adding that they are also contributors to the economy despite not actively as the normal people.
Methula said he has received calls from a number of disabled people who complained that they were being ignored and looked down upon, which has led to some of them withdrawing from the food distribution process. “A number of these people come from impoverished and disadvantaged families and are the most deserving of the food,” said Methula, adding that in fact government should take the initiative to identify and visit these families and registering them.
On a different note, Methula said government should freely distribute sanitizers to the visually impaired, being people who of all, work with the sense of touch. He said government should awaken to the fact that the visually impaired can be conduits of the COVID-19 pandemic as they touch everything. Some cannot afford the sanitizers and should be given free of charge in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, said Methula. He added that it is a known fact that sanitizers have been donated to government and instead of storing them they should be distributed starting with those who need them the most. He hastened to say that he should not be misconstrued as saying there were those who need sanitizers more but that the visually impaired will touch everything in their way as they go about their daily routines.
Communications Officer in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, Mihla Khumalo acknowledged that the matter was a genuine and sensitive one which needs an urgent intervention. He said he could say something on the matter but preferred taking it to the Deputy Prime Minister, Themba Masuku, whose mobile phone rang endlessly.
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