Street begging facilitators to be penalised 

PLANS are underway by the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups to track and punish people who facilitate urban migration of People With Disabilities (PWD) and use them as beggars for personal gains.

The Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr Amon Mpanju said recently during a meeting with PWD in Nyamagana District, which aimed at discussing the challenges facing the group and possible solutions.

The meeting that was oragnised by the Federation of PWD Associations in the District, also focused on discussing the available economic opportunities for PWD and how best they can grab them.

The Deputy PS  affirmed that some people who support the group have already been identified noting that relevant authorities were finalising procedures so that they can be arrested.

“Turning your fellow human being into a slave is not only violating human rights, but also a criminal offence. We are seriously going to fight the vice.  Like any human being, humanity must also come first to people with disabilities,” he said.

Similarly, Mr Mpanju urged religious leaders to intensify the matrimony teachings to couples, so as to reduce the number of marriage breakups.

He said that the breakups have been negatively impacting the children who miss the parenting care; as a result they opt to go for begging by camping on streets.

The PS  further advised PWDs to avoid self-stigma, instead, seek and y grab the available economic opportunities, including the two percent loan that is offered by councils to the group.

According to him, the government has been working to simplify loans access so as to benefit majority of PWDs.

“Earlier, there was no way you could access these loans without being in groups. But it is now possible even an individual to get the loan, make the use of this opportunity,” he stressed.

One of the meeting participants, Ms Milka Owire, had advised the government to set up friendly infrastructures in public buildings   so as to smooth PWDs movements.

She added that, special needs for PWDs, including walking braces, should be tax exempted to let everyone one affords.

Her special needs package, which is composed of an orthopedic show and some walking braces to support the leg, costs not less than 1.5m/-, she affirmed.

“I personally afford because I’m employed. How about those who are jobless. Lack of special needs limits our interactions and therefore hinders the efforts to engage in various economic activities,” she said.

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