PWDs Fund is independent -PM

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has said that the Fund that caters for the needs of People with Disabilities (PWDs) has not been integrated with funds for other special groups, as it is being claimed.

“In your speech, you have requested  the Special Fund for people with disabilities not  to be  combined with  other funds  so that  it can implement its responsibilities  effectively,  as it is  indicated in the Persons with Disabilities Act No 9 of 2010,” he said.

“I would like to use this opportunity to inform you that your Fund is not   integrated with other Funds, as you have heard. The government has set aside 1bn/- for execution of various interventions for People with Disabilities,” Premier Majaliwa said.

The PM was prompted to issue the clarification on Saturday during the  official opening of a symposium of People with Disabilities in Dar es Salaam while  responding  to the speech  which was read by  Chairman of the  Confederation  of People with Disabilities Ernest Kimaya who wanted to get the government stand  on the progress  of the  establishment of the  Fund for People with Disabilities.

He said when the Fund is combined with other funds it will cause issues that concern PWDs not to be given proper attention.

The Premier, however, cautioned them to identify various groups of People with Disabilities so that they can all benefit from the Fund.

“People with Disabilities have so many groups as it is the case with artists, we have noticed that this brings confusion. You need to sit down and identify those groups so that you can all benefit from the Fund constituted by the government,” the Premier urged.

Elaborating on challenges facing People with Disabilities on accessing the Public Service Recruitment Secretariat portal when applying for jobs, the PM said the government has taken note of the problem, saying a special arrangement has been put in place to deal with the group.

“Applicants with disabilities should submit their applications through their associations for assistance…these offices possess friendly infrastructure to support the group,” said Mr Majaliwa.

He directed the director from the department of People with Disabilities to supervise the mechanism crafted for the associations to acquire firsthand information of all vacancies announced so that those with prerequisite qualification can obtain assistance.

Commenting on the group’s request to the government on the need to fast track the new system of dishing out loans that amount to 10 per cent of councils’ internal revenue collections, the Prime Minister said the national task force formed to prepare the system, which will involve issuance of the loans through banks, was in the final stages of refining the system.

Earlier on, Prime Minister’s Office Employment, Labour, Youth and the Disabled Deputy Minister, Patrobas Katambi said the government was mobilising funds for the review of the National Policy on Disability of 2004.

“The policy has been in existence for 20 years; therefore, it needs improvement in order to enact a good law. The government will engage different groups of People with Disabilities for their needs to be identified,” noted Mr Katambi.

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