FORMER SECOND DEPUTY SPEAKER, CLEMENT CHIWAYA COMMITS SUICIDE                                                                    

                          

Former Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Clement Chiwaya, has shot himself in the head with a pistol on Thursday September 29th, 2021 at Parliament building right in front of the Clerk of Parliament, Fiona Kalemba’s office while discussing the most controversial issue of employment benefits among others, the car possession  which for over the time, he has been claiming that he bought it with his own money but the parliament is yet to change the ownership of that car saying it remains government vehicle and the matter is still at the court. .

Parliament Spokesperson Ian Mwenye, has confirmed about the shooting calling it as unfortunate. Clement Chiwaya who was a person with physical  disability after he suffered from polio in his early childhood, has died on the spot and he has left a suicide note which  says  he was not a violent person while it would have been easier for him to hurt others with the means he had, but he didn’t want that to be his legacy.

‘For those of you that would question why? Don’t. Here is my explanation: In my whole life I have worked very hard to ensure that I am self sufficient and I don’t rely on others for anything. My experience with parliament has been very bad. I am not a violent person  while it would have been easier to hurt others with the means  I have, I don’t want that to be my legacy. My heart and spirit has been brought down not because of the vehicle but persistent begging that I am doing to get what belongs to me,’ reads in part the suicide note.

Meanwhile, the burial ceremony of  Clement Chiwaya is scheduled to take place on Saturday October the 2nd, 2021 at Ngoyi Village in the area of Traditional Authority T/A Mponda, Mangochi District.

Late Chiwaya served as a Member of Parliament for Mangochi Central Constituency for three consecutive terms from 2004 to 2019 and was a member of  United Democratic Front UDF. Later he was elected Second Deputy Speaker during his last term in parliament, 2014 to 2019.

 

                                         CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR A CONSULTANCY

Terms of  Reference Consultancy to conduct Training on Human Rights, UNCRPD, Disability Act and SDGs for Spinal Injuries Association of Malawi SIAM.

Name of organization: Registered Trustees of Spinal Injuries Association of Malawi-SIAM

TITLE

Consultancy to conduct Human Rights, United Conversion on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), Disability Act and Sustainable Development Goals SDGs Training for SIAM.

PURPOSE

To increase the capacity of persons with spinal injuries to advocate for their rights and participate in decision making at all levels in Malawi.

EXPECTED FEE

One Post:      Consultant

Location:       Malawi

Duration:      10 days

Start Date:    10th November,2021

Reporting to: Siam Program Manager

 

Introduction

SIAM is an organization of persons with spinal cord Injuries, and it was established in 2011. It is   registered under the Trustees and Incorporation Act n as non-profit making organization in 2020. SIAM‘s Mission is “to promote the realization of equal rights for persons with spinal injuries and to facilitate their meaningful inclusion in all aspects of community life” during the entire chain of accessing care and reintegration. Our strategy has always outlined our commitment to working alongside local and international partner organizations with aim making a society without barrier for persons with spinal cord injuries in particular and persons with disabilities in general.

Background

SIAM has secured funding from the Disability Rights Fund (DRF) to build capacity of peer supporters in Human Rights and Disability. SIAM is therefore looking for a consultant, who will closely work with the Task force and to conduct the training in Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

Purpose

The main aim of this assignment is to strengthen capacities of SIAM in human rights and disability

Objectives

To assess levels of knowledge and skills on human rights and disability among SIAM members

To develop a training program and materials for SIAM

To improve the understanding and knowledge of peer supporters in human rights and disability.

The scope of work

Hold 2-day training in each location (Mzuzu and Lilongwe) on human rights and disability

Produce Training reports and share with SIAM Program Manager.

Develop and share training materials with SIAM Program manager.

Evaluate skills and knowledge levels among activity participants.

Provide recommendations for future capacity building initiatives.

Academic Qualifications and Experience

At least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field in the areas of Human Rights, Planning public policy and development studies.

Those with a Master’s Degree will have an added advantage.

Demonstrated experience in working with Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) and other development stake holders in public sector development programs especially in the areas of capacity development.

Prior working experience on disability issues is an added advantage

Skills and competences

High level written and oral communication skills in English and Chichewa.

Must be result-oriented, a team player, exhibiting high levels of enthusiasm,tact,diplomacy and integrity.

Skills in facilitation of stakeholder engagement/workshop

Evidence of having undertaken similar assignments.

Experience in research, policy development, management and programming related work.

Application process

To apply, send an application responding to the Terms of Reference that include a CV, a proposed methodology (maximum 2 pages), an activity time schedule and a financial proposal/budget to the Program Manager, bylonkondowe@gmail.com with the subject  “CONSULTANCY TO CONDUCT HUMAN RIGHTS, UNCRPD, DISABILITY ACT AND SDGs TRAINING.” Applications should be submitted by Friday 8th October,2021. Female candidates and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

  • PROMOTING THE ADVANCEMENT OF DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY AND ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

     

    The Federation of Disability Organizations in Malawi with all affiliated Organizations of Persons with Disabilities OPDs joined the rest of the six African countries in this year’s Inclusive Africa Conference hosted by  Inable Africa an organization based in Kenya in which FEDOMA is in partner with.

    The theme of  this year’s Inclusive Africa conference  is ‘Promoting the advancement of digital accessibility and assistive technology inclusion in Africa’ which brings  dynamic speakers faculty who have explored global best practices to improve digital accessibility  and inclusion in education, employment, finances and mobile assistive technology.

    In Malawi the representatives from all OPDs gathered in one place at Kanjedza Lodge in the commercial city of Blantyre to attend the conference virtually and speaking at the conference, FEDOMA Acting Executive Director, Simon Munde who was among the panelists, touched much on the Malawi’s one experience on access to financial services mentioning a good example of the National Bank of Malawi introducing Auto teller Machine  ATMs which are accessible to persons with visual impairments as he commends the initiative but he was quick to say this is only common in urban setups and in rural areas the initiative is not yet materialized.

    “Through our own experience, Malawi is going along way achieving  inclusion in as far as digital is concerned in finance system and we are hoping this to spread in rural setup as well,”he said.

    Speaking after the virtual conference, Munyarazi Msize from Malawi  Union of the Blind commended the conference but she faulted some areas saying five hour virtual conference without formal break is too long that may lead participants loosing concentration. She also asked the Inable Africa to consider participants  raising their questions and comments through  hand raising procedure and not only through the chat as it was the procedure like.

    “Really it was a wonderful conference but we would love to ask the organizers to consider putting formal break to allow participants to relax otherwise five hour virtual conference without a break its tiresome. We would like also to ask the organizers to provide us with a recording clip of this event so that at our own time we go though it and understand the content of this conference as it was associated with network interruptions,” said Munyarazi.

    The 2021 conference is hosted by Inable Africa and sponsored by Google, Facebook, Safari com PLC, T-Mobile, Salesforce and FSD Kenya.#A11YAfrica2021.

     

     

  • Persons with disabilities must be prioritized in vaccination rollout, says Federation of Disability Organizations in Malawi

     

    The Federation of Disability organizations in Malawi (FEDOMA), Sight savers and Equal World Campaign are calling on the government of Malawi to ensure persons with disabilities are prioritiesed in the country’s vaccination rollout.

    The call to support by advice from the World Health Organization which has identified persons with disabilities as a priority group for vaccination. Growing evidence shows that persons with disabilities are particularly exposed to to the risks of Covid-19  and require  specific measure to mitigate these risks and their impact.

    Bright Chiwaula, Country Director of Sight savers says “With the rollout of Covid-19 vaccine gaining momentum and winch limited initial vaccine supplier it is vital that persons with disabilities are not left behind. We are campaigning to ensure vaccination  plans and pandemic recovery strategies involving them, are accessible to them and reach them,”

    Simon Munde, Acting Executive Director of FEDOMA says “Since the World Health Organization declared Covid  -19 as a pandemic, persons with disabilities have had to shoulder some of the worst effect of this disease in Malawi and around the world,”

    “We are seeing Covid-19 protective measures being developed without any form of consultation with persons with disabilities. These messages mostly been inconsiderate of the needs of persons with disabilities. For example, many people have received information which may not be applicable to their particular disability. The continued emphasis on physical distancing and use of masks has ended up depriving persons with disabilities of support personal services.,”

    ” Most of these preventive measures have found their way  into the Covid-19 guidelines which form part of public health subsidiaries in an award position where they have to choose contravening the law or withdrawing from their  various social and economic activities,”

    FEDOMA and Equal World  say that the lack of disability inclusion in various Covid-19 interventions have left  persons with disabilities behind in all area from access to information to testing and vaccination services. This negligence has left persons with disabilities  not to only feel dissuaded from searching such services but also to become more reliant on misinformation.  Lack of disability aggregated data non Covid-19 cases is also worsening the understanding of the needs of of persons with disabilities. This all consequently exposes them to more serious risks of the pandemic.

    The organizations have acknowledged that in recent months the Ministry of Health through the presidential task force on Covid-19 has announced that persons with disabilities be prioritized in the vaccination initiative. And they commend the decision to include FEDOMA in the national Covid-19 health cluster and national Covid-19 Social Protection Cluster.

    For the government to be successful in prioritizing persons with disabilities in vaccine rollout,  FEDOMA and Equal Would are calling for:

    • Health information campaign and vaccination delivery sites to be inclusive and accessible  to all persons with disabilities. For example, information related to vaccination must be provided in accessible format including captioning language, audio formats and plain language.
    • Organizations of persons with disabilities to be meaningfully involved in the development of Covid-19 related planning and policy making and vaccination to only happen with the free informed consent persons with disabilities and their families.
    • Data collected on the vaccination programs to be aggregated by age, gender and disability using internationally comparable tools and shared in accessible formats.

    Simon Munde, Acting Executive Director of FEDOMA says ” The disability rights movement is calling  for these measures around the world. This cannot be put on the back burner.

    We are in  international crisis and there are up to one billion persons with disabilities who are trying to survive without the recognition or support they need,”

    Ends

    For further details, interviews and case studies, contact Simon Munde, Acting Executive Director at FEDOMA on Swmunde@gmail.com or call +265 888 894 287.

     

     

  • RISING ABOVE DISABILITY

    It has proven that disability is not inability as Machinga District has re-elected Alexander Short as District Council Chair while in Blantyre, the disability movement has registered another milestone where Sigere  Pemba  has been elected as chairperson of the council. Both Short and Pemba were elected as Councillors of Machinga and Blantyre respectively in 2019 Tripartite Elections.

    In his written congratulatory message, FEDOMA Acting Executive Director, Simon Munde, said both Short and Kasai proved a point in 2019 by coming out victorious in the Local Government Elections, saying they are the pride of disability movement.

    “For Alexander Short was subsequently being elected as chairperson of the Machinga District Council and now he has retained his sit in an election held on 3rd July, 2021 in Machinga and this is no mean achievement.”reads in part.

    He added that the election of these two persons with disabilities is a true mark of inclusion while ensuring parity between persons with disabilities and persons without disabilities in our society.

    Councils are now conducting elections of chair persons to save for the remaining Four years before Malawians will go for another tripartite election in 20125.

     

CHAKWERA MADE POSITIVE DIRECTIVES ON DISABILITY MATTERS

 

 

President  Lazarus Chakwera has directed Deputy Minister for Local Government, Halima Daud to ensure that all building accessibility standards are complied with in all the councils and he expects a progress report no later than the last day of this fiscal year.

Chakwera made the directive at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when he inaugurated this year’s Malawi Council for the Handicapped MACOHA’S Flag Week. In the same vain, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare; Patricia Kaliati, is directed to conduct an assessment of every public institution’s performance in upholding the rights of persons with disabilities and to report those who are in violation of the same to the president.

 

“I will know how to deal with the heads of those departments as I made the direction today to mark the start of this year’s MACOHA Flag Week,” said Chakwera.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Labor and skills Development, Vera Kantukule, says her ministry will give 25 per cent of graduate internships to persons with disabilities without a requirement for a degree to empower them.

This year’s   MACOHA Flag Week is being observed under the theme ’50 Years of Empowering Persons with Disabilities.’

NO POSITIVE IMPACTS ON POST COVID-19 INITIATIVES TOWARDS CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES: OPDs

Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) have accused government for failing to put in place deliberate measures that would help children with disabilities in schools and in other public spaces to address the effects of Covid-19 that has hit hard Malawi in particular and the whole world.

Speaking during the Focus Group Discussion that took place in Blantyre, representatives from all FEDOMA’s affiliated organizations, made it clear that persons with disabilities have been sidelined in all avenues that government has been initiating to address the effects of Covid-19.

The focus Group Discussion was conducted by Jenifer Ngwira, Special Needs Director at Catholic University and the aim was to collect data on the effects of Covid-19 towards children with disabilities in Malawi.

The exercise was made possible through the partnership between FEDOMA and the Deaf Zimbabwe Trust which operates in three countries of Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia. Deaf Zimbabwe Trust is also in partnership with the Civil Society Education Coalition.

ADDRESS CHALLENGES OF PERSONS WITH SPINAL CORD INJURIES-SIAM

 

Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Malawi SIAM has asked government to help the organization in addressing challenged persons with spinal cord injuries are facing in their daily livelihood.

SIAM Chairperson, Bylon Kondowe made the call in Lilongwe at the end of a five day training of persons with Spinal Cord Injuries.

Kondowe said the organization was established to address challenges and human rights violation persons with spinal cord injuries were facing.

 

He said: “The training tackled issues of health, human rights and the law and we noted that persons with spinal cord injuries are experiencing violation of their rights in some instances.”

In her response, Grace Massa, Principle Disability Officer in the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare asked SIAM to work with government to ensure that the rights of its members are observed. Massa said government was ready to partner with stake holders such as SIAM due to the institution’s expertise in classifying types of disability.

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