Respect Rights of Children with Disabilities – Livingstone Mayor

By Kelvin Mudenda

LIVINGSTONE Mayor Constance Muleabai has warned parents with disabled children against
disregarding human rights. Ms Muleabai said this during a disability sensation meeting at Dambwa Central Market
organised by Hearing Balm Foundation in Livingstone recently. The Livingstone Mayor expressed concern that some parents were locking up disabled children in homes for unknown reasons.

Ms Muleabai said it was unacceptable that children with special needs were being isolated from
other children and denied the privilege to socialize. She said the parents who abuse their children must be reported to the police so that appropriate action was taken. “Such individuals should be reported to the police or the Livingstone one stop shop, or they should be brought to the mayor’s office for further action,”Ms Muleabai said.
She said members of the public must remain alert and ensure that parents who abused their
disabled children were exposed.

The Livingstone mayor said for a long time, members of the community had failed to play their
role and neglected to disclose incidences of child abuse to relevant authorities.
She said accurate statistics on children with special needs were lacking in communities.
The mayor said time had come and the environment was conducive for those abusing children to
face the wrath of the law.

Linda Police Station Victim Support Unit (VSU) officer-in-charge Beatrice Moyo advised
parents with disabled children to avoid mistreating their children because it was an offense and
one could be detained. Ms Moyo said it was illegal and improper for parents and legal guardians to lock up a child
because of a disability .Ms Muleabai said children with disabilities must not be left alone and locked up, but must be
given the freedom to interact with other children. Hearing Balm Foundation executive director Sepiso Mushoke said about two million people in the country were disabled.

Ms Mushoke said it was important to make sure that children with disabilities were cared for all
the time. She said she was working in 12 out of 20 wards in Livingstone.
“We want the community’s development goals to include people with disabilities and that is why
as an organisation, we are working in 12 out of the 20 wards to help reach out to the disabled
children,” she said.
Times of Zambia: 7.09.2022

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