A HUMAN rights activist in Eastern Province is disappointed that some people in Chasefu Constituency are discriminating against PF parliamentary candidate Dr Thomas Mtonga on account of being visually impaired.
In an interview, Machisa Zimba said Dr Mtonga has a right to contest elections.
“As a human rights activist for persons with disabilities, I want to register my fair comment which is non-partisan. I don’t belong to any political party. So I am discussing this issue not because it happened to someone who is coming from PF, but I would still have discussed this issue even when the affected person was coming from any other political party,” he said. “I am disappointed with what is prevailing in Chasefu Constituency where people are discriminating Dr Thomas Mtonga on the background that he is a visually impaired person.”
Zimba said Zambia has laws and rights that allow every citizen to participate in elections.
“Anyone has got a right to stand on any position and people shouldn’t be discriminated based on their disability or because they are women or youths or any other issue,” he said. “What is happening to Dr Mtonga is not good and those that are doing it should stop forthwith. What people should know is that no one chooses to be disabled. Anytime anybody can become disabled. Today, I have eyes but tomorrow I can become visually impaired. Today I may have legs but tomorrow I can be confined to a wheel chair.”
And Zimba said the disability movement would never forget Dr Kenneth Kaunda for working towards improving the lives people living with disability.
“We are celebrating Dr Kaunda’s life because he did a lot to the persons with disabilities. During his reign KK appointed Lazarous Tembo as minister of state, Dr Kaunda also supported one of the former MPs for Nyimba Constituency who was visually impaired until he won the elections. Dr Kaunda appointed persons with disabilities to decision making positions,” said Zimba.