It has been noted with great surprise that people with disabilities have become invisible in the Zimbabwean mining industry. The chief reason being that determination alone does not suffice for one to be fully recognized in the industry. The prevailing requirements expected of plwds are discreditable considering that this group deserves special treatment.
Mirirai Melissa Ngoya
People with disabilities (PLWDs) are facing various challenges in terms of being recognized in the mining industry. In an interview with Mining Zimbabwe, the secretary of people with disabilities Moses Marufu suggested that there are many stumbling blocks that are perpetually obstructing this group from reaching out to their dream of venturing into the mining sector.
Disabled people are despised and discriminated against, they are perceived as individuals who are incapable of bringing fundamental development in the mining sector as highlighted by Moses “it is with great sadness that people who live with disabilities are looked down upon and many offices do not give them the attention they deserve”
Even though PLWDs aspire to venture into mining they are facing challenges due to the infrastructural set up of many offices which they would be required to visit in trying to get registered. The requirements expected of them are overwhelming considering that moving around is very difficult for them. It is a requirement that they must visit various offices for them to be registered which is quite burdensome.
Relevant authorities are failing to exorcise these discriminatory measures and this is one of the major challenges plaguing the mining industry in Zimbabwe.
“It is a great challenge for people with disabilities to access buildings such as the ministry of mines since the way it was constructed does not suit the conditions of PLWDs.”
“It disturbs me seeing the ZMF national secretary for PLWDs being hauled up at the rainbow Towers simply because the building is not sensitive to their plight” added on Chiedza Chipangura ZMF chairperson for Mash west.
The secretary further highlighted that there is an unfair office set up at the ministry which therefore shows that from inception, the ministry disregarded the disabled. Hence their chances of being successful in the mining sector are seriously being jeopardized.
“There is an unwelcoming atmosphere in those offices due to language barriers, looking up for a deaf person wanting to venture into mining.”
The communication barrier hampers the succession of plwds who aspire to venture into the mining industry. Relevant authorities have dismally failed to make resource allocations to people with disabilities resulting in some services being inaccessible for them.
Mr. Secretary said “plwds have their own means of communication which most of the officials operating in the ministry of mines offices do not understand therefore any proper communication between the two groups of people”
It is high time for the government of Zimbabwe to lookup for this group since they are citizens of this nation. They need, substantial assistance in this enterprise enjoying the same benefits that everyone is enjoying.
“People with disabilities are not very mobile-like able-bodied people hence will spend much time on production as the study has shown. We will become taxpayers, bankers, employers, and also earn for ourselves, therefore, reduce the national budget on social welfare” added Moses Marufu.