Project Aliyense

Hope for persons with disability, as Muleya shares promising story of inclusivity in governance (video)


Frederick John Muleya, a differently abled person based in Choma town, Southern Province, has shared some insights of changes being made to people like him in discussing freedom of expression and other various issues.

Recently appointed as a Ward Development Committee for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to represent persons with disabilities in his area, Muleya expressed optimism of inclusivity and freedom of expression.

He expressed believe that this was a starting point for persons with disabilities to have a platform which can be used to discuss critical issues such as freedom of expression.

In an interview with Zambia Monitor in Choma, Muleya’s hope was that persons with disabilities would now be able to have freedom of expression, especially through media coverage.

“In terms of freedom, right now there are some changes but before this government, it was very difficult. The new government is trying to be inclusive with persons with disabilities. There are some changes.

“Sometimes, we have been called to Choma Mano [radio station in Choma] to express ourselves and say what we want from the government. The media is not really giving us a platform to express ourselves, but they are trying,” he said.

Read more: Aspiring journalist offers insights on media freedom and information access in Zambia (video)

Asked if he felt persons with disabilities were fully included regarding freedom of expression, Muleya said; “Not yet included but there are some changes. There are some promises, as I said earlier, it is the first time to include persons with disability in the CDF committee.

“So, we see some changes that maybe in future things will not be the same as they were before.”

Meanwhile, Muleya emphasised the need for public places, including media entities to consider putting slops for people living with disabilities in their building.

“We find that measurements of the doors, a person using a wheelchair cannot use the toilet, so when people are planning to build structures, we have to be included so that we decide together,” he said.

Muleya’s views show signs of improvement in freedom of expression by the government to ensure that people living with disabilities are included in the decision-making process.

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