The Africa Disability Alliance (ADA) has conferred Zambia with the Michael Chilufya Sata disability ambassadorial country award in honour of late President Sata’s efforts of championing, programming and policing disability issues.
The ambassadorial country status is a top civil society award that encourages government to increase its efforts towards mainstreaming disability issues in all sectors and government ministries.
In accepting the prestigious award in Lusaka last evening, Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Emerine Kabanshi said the prize was timely as it came on a day Zambia had joined the world in commemorating the international day of persons with disability which fell on December 3rd, 2014.
Mrs. Kabanshi noted that progressive disability programmes happened during the late President Sata’s rule.
She said during late Mr. Sata’s reign, government approved the disability national policy in February last year and domesticated the
persons with disability Act number 6 of 2012.
She reiterated that government will continue to work closely with organisations such as the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD) to ensure that the standards of persons with disabilities are improved.
Mrs. Kabanshi has since commended ADA for recognizing Zambia and giving her the ambassadorial country award.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Kabanshi presented certificates to persons with disabilities for their invaluable efforts on disability issues in the country.
Among the certificate recipients was veteran disability activist Elijah Ngwale, Francis Muyenga (posthumously), Sylvester Katotoka and Makenzi Mbewe.
And ADA chairperson Roseweter Mudarikwa, who presented the award, said Zambia deserved to get the award.
Ms. Mudarikwa disclosed that the African Union, working with the Commission for human and people’s rights, is drafting an African
disability protocol that would guarantee respect for human rights of persons with disabilities on the African continent.
Meanwhile, veteran disability activist Elijah Ngwale appealed to government to consider naming public institutions after disability
activist as a way of honouring them.
Mr. Ngwale, who is Disability, HIV and AIDS Human Rights Programmes manager, thanked former president Kenneth Kaunda for appointing late Lazarous Tembo in his cabinet.
He suggested to the Mrs. Kabanshi that one public institution could be named after the late Mr. Tembo.