Private and public organisations have been challenged to adhere to the Disability Act passed by Parliament in 2010 which requires them to employ three percent of persons with disabilities in their working places.
Under the prevailing law of the land, in companies with 50 employees or more, at least 2 per cent of the workforce should comprise persons with disabilities.
According to the Persons with Disabilities passed by Parliament in April 2010, this level should increase gradually to 3 per cent in firms with 20 or more registered employees.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam recently, Thobias Kange’ete, who is the coordinator of Mbeya based Lufilyo Association of disabled persons, said few companies have recruited persons with disabilities since the Act was enacted.
He said the government did not show the way, since many perspns with disabilities are not employed in its departments.
He said this is the opportune time for the government to enforce the Act to enable more persons with disabilities employed in organizations and improve their lives. According to him, persons with disability face various challenges, including poverty. There is a need to make sure that they get sustainable income through employment which would enable them to live like others.
Persons with disabilities make up a large proportion of the country’s population and employing someone with disability does make business sense because they have a unique appreciation of their jobs, are very committed and willing to work hard in order to succeed, he said.
The United Nations Organisation estimates that in most countries, up to 80 per cent of persons with disabilities of working age are unemployed.
It was not easily established what is the total number of persons with disabilities employed in Tanzania, but estimates put the number close to 3.3million.