MACODA dares duty bearers to change perceptions on rights of persons with disabilities

As an agency responsible for the enforcement of the Persons with Disability Act, Malawi Council for Disability Affairs (MACODA) has stressed the need of engaging various stakeholders who are regarded as agents of change in ensuring that new laws are popularized and publicized.

The organization’s Director General George Chiusiwa made the remarks during training to orient media practitioners on the new disability legislation in the country; the Persons with Disability Act.

MACODA wants to ensure that persons with disabilities who are principal rights holders are made aware of the new legislation through the media hence equipping them with the knowledge and information regarding the new law.

Among others, the media are going to be drilled on the new Council, its powers and functions and responsibilities in as far as its enforcement is concerned.

They will also be taught on enhancing and strengthening effective reporting, researching, monitoring and investigations for them to uncover various issues affecting persons with disabilities in terms of enjoyment of their fundamental freedoms and rights.

He described media as key and central in ensuring that various other human rights issues affecting their rights are reported adequately and effectively.

Duty bearers will change their orientation their perceptive regarding rights of persons with disabilities

Additionally, the journalists have an important role to monitor the implementation of these laws on persons with disabilities.

He cited the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities which Malawi ratified, disability inclusion and mainstreaming for Malawi to attain disability inclusive development in line with the MW2063 agenda as foundations regarding the enactment of this law.

Chiusiwa indicated that the legal and policy framework in Malawi is relatively progressive and normative noting the adequacy in the promulgation of rights of persons with disabilities through various pieces of legislation.

Despite the availability of all these laws, Chiusiwa however noted the challenge lies in enforcement.

“Therefore the Persons With Disabilities Act is providing a unique mechanism to enforce rights of persons with disabilities and we believe that the establishment of MACODA under the persons with disabilities Act will bring about a unique mechanism through which rights of persons with disabilities under this new disability legislation as well as under the Constitution and other various pieces of legislation will be realized.

World Vision Malawi’s Director of Communications and Advocacy Charles Gwengwe

“It is our hope that going forward, duty bearers will change their orientation their perceptive regarding rights of persons with disabilities and this is why we are also reaching out to various stakeholders, various actors both in the state and non-state sectors to orient them on this new law”          

The training has been funded by World Vision Malawi and its Director of Communications and Advocacy Charles Gwengwe challenged the practitioners on the need for a gender equality and inclusive approach to reaching out to vulnerable children.

He noted that with Malawi’s population currently at 24 million, child hunger remains a big challenge affecting the most vulnerable.

According to Gwengwe, 8 percent of the children with disabilities are struggling with access with food and Mchinji and Dedza topping the list as the most affected when it comes to nutrition. The children’s charity organization is keen to see children having enough food in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 2 for them to enjoying better food security while attending classes.

Gladys Nthenda

A journalist with over 10 years all round media experience in Television, print, radio, and online platforms with a particular interest in health and climate change reporting. I love writing stories on vulnerable and marginalized societies to bring about the necessary change in their lives. Loves travelling, reading news related articles and listening to all genres of music.

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