Lobby for the disabled

MASERU — A coalition of civil society groups says it will lobby parliamentarians to pass a bill of rights for the disabled.

The civic groups met in Mafeteng last week to launch the disability rights advocacy campaign intended to seek ways to lobby parliamentarians to support the proposed bill.

The programme officer for the Lesotho National Federation of the Disabled (LNFOD), ’Mapitso Mosito-Raswoko, said it was critical for parliamentarians to understand the rights of the disabled.

Mosito-Raswoko said the civic groups want parliamentarians to support the bill when it eventually comes before parliament.

“Our Members of Parliament should have full comprehension of the conventions on the rights of the disabled people which Lesotho signed.

“Parliament should enact laws that protect our rights and there should be clear policies on the empowerment of the disabled,” Mosito-Raswoko said.

Mosito-Raswoko said the civic groups had targeted Mafeteng as it had one of the highest numbers of MPs in parliament.

Mafeteng district has 14 MPs in the National Assembly as well as four senators who are principal chiefs.

The district also has four government ministers and one assistant minister in the National Assembly.

The civic groups said it was critical to secure support from MPs in Mafeteng to ensure that the proposed bill sailed through in parliament.

As part of their campaign the civic groups on Monday marched throughout the 10 constituencies of the district.

Mosito-Raswoko said they intended to focus on the plight of people with disabilities. She said the campaign seeks to emphasise the capabilities of people with disabilities.

She said they were planning to lobby MPs in other districts around the country in the next few weeks.

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