Church Launches Empowering Campaign to Unpack the Disability Bill

By Sandra Munemo

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches has launched an empowering campaign that is meant to unpack the Disability Bill which is meant to repeal the now obsolete Disabled Person Act enacted in 1992.

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches has initiated the process of raising awareness on the contents of the Bill and the processes the Bill takes to become an Act of Parliament.

The recently gazetted Disability Bill, which is premised on the Human Rights Model of disability, casts rays of hope in the inclusion, and promotion of the rights and well-being of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Zimbabwe, which is enshrined in the country’s National Development Strategy 1 which moves with the ‘Leaving Noone Behind Mantra’. 

The activities by the Church are meant to invoke agency and encourage ownership and participation of PWDs in the crucial crafting of the law. The Church is also using its presence in the communities to address the information gap that affects most PWDs due to several issues that include economic hardships.

Although PWDs have largely viewed the Bill as progressive, there have been many sticking points identified thus far. These include the requirement for appointment to the Disability Commission, which states that one must be linked with a registered Organisation for Persons with Disabilities (OPD). The dialogues noted that the requirement is exclusionary, as most PWDs are not affiliated with organisations. 


The requirement for OPDs to be registered under the Private Voluntary Act was regarded to require further clarification and debate, given the majority of OPDs are community-based organisations (CBOs) that do not meet the registration requirements for PVOs.

The Church urges the government and civil society organizations (CSOs) to consider allocating resources to support the Bill’s pre-packing around the country, so that when public consultations are held, OPDs, PWDs, and all relevant stakeholders can make meaningful and informed responses.

To date, the dialogues on the Bill have been conducted in Bubi, Chiredzi, Lupane and Nemamwa districts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

@2023 | ZCC | All Rights Reserved