Special Reports

PWDs to Gov’t: Take Charge of Our Welfare

UNAD ED and Coalition Coordinator Ambrose Murangira addressing MPs yesterday. Looking on is Laurah Kanushu, ED of Legal Action for Persons with Disabilities Uganda (LAPD),JPG (1)

A total of 3, what is ed http://cizgisactasarim.com/wp-admin/includes/class-plugin-upgrader.php 150 opposition Uganda Peoples’ Congress and Forum for Democratic Change members from the northern Sub-region of Lango crossed to the ruling National Resistance Movement party on Thursday.

In December last year this investigative website exclusively revealed details about a trip of 53 opposition leaders from the area to State House Entebbe to meet President Museveni who is also the NRM Chairman with the intentions of crossing to the ruling party.

Indeed on Thursday when President Museveni went to Lira town to launch a number of activities including the opening of the Shs 28bn market that has changed the whole face of town, pharm the same opposition leaders converged 2, drug 000 fellow converts at Golf Course where Museveni addressed the cheerful crowds.

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The converts led by a staunch UPC lady, Florence Okello Olong, the Oyam district woman Member of Parliament aspirant who was also the architect and leader of opposition leaders who met Museveni in December, were immediately dressed in yellow T. Shirts of NRM and sole candidature descriptions.

The biggest surprise on Thursday was defection of late President Milton Obote’s right hand man; Ogwang Nasuru who has been the face of fading traditionally UPC dominated Lango Sub-region.

Mr. Ogwang was the powerful chairman UPC Lira district for many years and single handedly took control of the party in early 2000 when he was the determinant of who UPC should field in any national or local elective position in Lango and Kumi regions.

He locked out and subsequently chased from UPC the nationally celebrated opposition members including then iron lady, Cecilia Ogwal, former minister Omara Atubo, Minister Rebecca Otengo among others who joined NRM with the exception of Cecilia who went to FDC and Dokolo LCV chairman, John Baptist Okello Okello.

Museveni welcomed all the converts to NRM and advised the old members of his party not to feel jealous about the new comers but just make them comfortable in the huge yellow bus.

“Our people who have been in the party for a long time should not have jealous but accommodate the new entrants to our party with love. NRM is pro-people and let’s maintain that ideology.” President Museveni said at the venue.
A coalition of eleven non-governmental organisations wants government to take more responsibility for the plight of persons with disabilities (PWDs), page http://cienciaaldia.com/wp-includes/class-wp-walker.php instead of leaving their welfare in the hands of private actors.

They also criticized the proposed PWD Bill 2014, pharm describing it as worse than the PWD Act 2006 that it seeks to repeal.

While presenting their proposed amendments to the bill to parliament’s committee on Gender, shop Labour and Social Development, coalition members led by Makerere University law don Kabumba Businge said: “The current bill strips away any language of obligation from the state in meeting the education, health information and other needs of the PWDs.”

Businge added that the bill is silent on what the state should do on issues such as providing inclusive education to PWDs, and on the doctrine of reasonable accommodation for PWDs. “Given that, it’s better to stay where we are until we know that the law will offer a better deal.”

Similarly, Mr. Ambrose Murangira, the executive director of Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD) and coalition coordinator, said: “In many ways, this Act was drafted in vague and imprecise language, which doesn’t articulate the agencies or persons bound to fulfill a number of the guarantees therein.”

Murangira added that given the central role of the state in preservation and violation of rights, it is misleading to put a lot of emphasis on non-state actors while being silent on the role of the state itself in this.

At the heart of this, is a fear by government of the cost implications of passing a pro-PWD bill, according to coalition members.

It is these fears that Mr. Murangira sought to address when he said that with a good PWD law, aligned to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of PWDs (CRPD), there are many agencies that will be interested in funding major provisions in the bill because of the centrality of the PWD issues.

“Passing a pro-PWD bill will in itself help in resource mobilization because we are representing over six million people,” he told MPs through a sign language interpreter.

While receiving the bill, committee members lead by acting committee chairperson Hon. Baba Diri promised to organize a workshop that will study the recommendations of the coalition members.

PWDs share experiences

During the interface with the legislators, several PWDs also shared lived experiences of suffering because of a bad legal regime.

Speaking on behalf of albinos, Hassan Mulondo, the chairperson of Albino Association of Uganda (AAU), said many albinos continue to die because of lack of access to a sunscreen cream that protects them from the sun.

“We know that as human beings we will die but let us die because of natural causes and not because of a disability,” he told MPs, revealing that last year his group lost five albinos in Ntungamo, Kayunga and Lira because of skin cancer-related complications.

The NRM retreat at Kyankwanzi recently said government must provide albinos with sunscreen cream.

He said that the said cream costs between Shs 40,000 to Shs 60,000 and one would require at least one tube per month, which he said is unaffordable to most albinos.

Under the new law, his group wants to ensure availability and affordability of this cream in all hospitals.

“For us, we are not Ugandan citizens because we have IDs, but when we have that cream,” he added.

For her part, Laurah Kanushu, the executive director of Legal Action for Persons with Disabilities Uganda (LAPD), said lack of sign language services in learning institutions, the media and judiciary gravely affects PWDs.

She cited a court case involving a deaf person that delayed because there were no sign language interpretation services in the court.

“Later when we brought in our sign language interpreter, the court rejected him. Access to justice is important; so, when we see it lacking in the bill, it bothers us. We don’t want the bill to take us back.”

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