100 Participants Expected As Disability Expo Begins

The ninth edition of the National Disability Expo started on a high note in Gweru yesterday with Special Advisor on National Disability Issues in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Cde Joshua Malinga calling for the end of misconceptions regarding People with Disabilities (PWDs).

More than 100 participants are expected to set up exhibition stands and a number of them were still working on their stands by yesterday.

The Expo will be officially opened by President Mnangagwa at Gweru Sports Club tomorrow.

Welcoming participants and Government officials who braved the cold weather to attend the Expo, Cde Malinga said there was a need for society to correct misconceptions regarding disability.

He said even culturally, there are still pregnant women who spit on the ground when they come across a disabled person and pray that they don’t give birth to a disabled child.

“Disability has a lot of misconceptions; it has a lot of fears and it has never been seen as a natural phenomenon by society. However, disability is not about how my legs look, it’s not that you don’t have eyes. Disability triggers a lot of fears and that is why in Shona they have a saying, ‘seka urema wafa’. You find a pregnant woman who comes across a disabled person spitting on the ground saying God I don’t want a disabled child. So, disability is a mindset, it’s in the mind,” said Cde Malinga.

He said some people think disabled people, like those who are blind, can’t be intimate and produce children.

“Someone once asked me how disabled people have children. In response, I told him that the fact that he can close curtains, lock the door and close eyes, the disabled people can also do it,” said Cde Malinga to laughter from participants. Chronicle

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