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Include us in constitution bodies, people with disabilities appeal

14th February 2013
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People with disabilities leave Constitution Review Commission offices in Dar es Salaam yesterday after submitting request for representation in forthcoming discussions on the drafting of a new Constitution for Tanzania. (Photo: Omar Fungo)

The Union for entrepreneurs with disabilities in Dar es Salaam (UWAWADA) want the new constitution to recognise and respect basic rights for people with disability.

Speaking to The Guardian over the phone, Uwawada chairman Kidumuke Mohamed said the new constitution should oblige the public to respect the rights for people with disability.

He added that they have also appealed to the government to subsidise them in education, and health facilities including providing a clauses that will favour their pass marks.

“Our learning process is different…we are taught in a different way…our learning environment is full of deficiencies…the environment in which we learn is not friendly to us…then why do we have the same pass marks as others?,” he questioned.

UWAWADA decided to go to CRC claiming that they were not given a chance to air their views at the first round when special groups were submitting their opinions.

Apart from airing their views, they also asked to be involved in the formation of constitutional councils at lower levels such as village and wards.

Mohamed explained that the process of forming such councils appears to be bypassing them as they have not yet been contacted, adding that they also need to be recognised at all levels.

CRC Principal Information Officer, Omega Ngole told this paper that Uwawada went to give their views on the Constitution Councils to be formed when the Commission released information welcoming anyone with concern.

He said that the deadline for submitting concerns, opinions, criticism to the Councils according to the time table of the Commission is today, adding that people with disability in Dar es Salaam presented their concerns in time. 

Speaking after giving views another representative of the Union David Nyendo said that CRC’s step to form constitutional councils without involving people with disability aimed at denying them rights to air their views on the new constitution.

He said people with disability would like to send representatives whom they have selected to the councils.

He added that people with understand the challenges facing them. 

Reacting to the views of the members of the Union, CRC Chairman Justice Joseph Warioba accepted their proposal and promised to work on them.

He promised to form special councils for people with disability in order to give them a chance to speak out about their problems and challenges facing them daily.

He said that before forming the councils, people with disability will be given opportunity to give their opinions on how they would like the council to be so as to fulfill their interests.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN