By Ernest Mwape-A representative of physically challenged people in the Northern Province have accused the ruling movement for multiparty democracy (MMD) government of sidelining them.
Speaking in MpikaSaturday, District Disabled Association (MDDA) chairman Alex Simuwelu complained about lack of financial and material support from government.
Simuwelu alleged that ever since MMD came into power, it has never assisted the physically impaired people in Northern Province apart from paying lip service.
“Ever since MMD was voted into power, it has never helped out the physically challenged people either financially or materially in our province, what we always hear is that government is looking into our problem,” Simuwelu lamented.
He said it was appalling to note that each time government released money for the disabled; it only benefited those in other provinces.
Simuwelu who could not hide his annoyance doubted whether the province was within Zambia because he said since independence it has had no meaningful growth.
“Since independence our province has lagged behind in terms of development such as good road network, institution of higher learning and hospitals,” Simuwelu noted.
He said since the physically challenged persons in the province also needed some help like their counterparts in other provinces, monies being released to help such persons should be shared equally among the nine provinces to avoid uncertainty in the country.
“If government wants to help out the physically challenged people, it must release funds to all nine provinces in the country instead of picking few regions,” he said.
He observed that giving funds to few selected provinces and indeed districts was not health at all because it could bring about divisions among Zambian people.
Meanwhile, Simuwelu has appealed to Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to consider them in the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) because they also want to contribute towards the nation development.
Simuwelu said despite being disabled, most of them were eager to change their life style and embark on meaningful agricultural projects but lacked means to begin such ventures.
He noted that currently it was difficult for them to access farm inputs through such programme because of cumbersome procedures which he said only favoured able bodied people.
“Physically impaired persons can not access farm inputs through FSP because the procedures are burdensome and they only favour able bodies persons,” Simuwelu said.