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Gift Mabhaudhi successfully advocates for removal of taxes on devices for persons with disabilities

by Nkululeko Nkomo
13 Apr 2024 at 17:10hrs | Views
Renowned ZANU PF DCC leader and disability rights activist, Gift Mabhaudhi, has recently achieved a major victory in the ongoing battle for fair treatment and accessibility for persons with disabilities in Zimbabwe. Mabhaudhi's diligent lobbying efforts have led to the successful negotiation with the Ministry of Finance to review and ultimately scrap a controversial statutory instrument that imposed taxes on devices used by persons with disabilities. Mabhaudhi was tasked by persons with disabilities from his DCC in Harare Province to act on the matter and ensure that the SI was reversed.

The statutory instrument, which initially drew widespread criticism for unfairly burdening individuals already facing significant socio-economic challenges, was set to tax crucial devices such as mobility aids, hearing aids, and communication devices for persons with disabilities. Understanding the detrimental impact this tax could have on the quality of life and independence of individuals with disabilities, Mabhaudhi and the National Disability Dialogue team took proactive measures to advocate for their rights and challenge the government's decision.

Through a series of negotiations and advocacy campaigns, Mabhaudhi and the NDD effectively communicated the pressing need to reconsider the taxation policy and underscored the inherent unfairness of taxing essential tools that are vital for the daily functioning and well-being of persons with disabilities. His efforts ultimately culminated in a positive outcome, with the Minister of Finance agreeing to rescind the tax on devices used by persons with disabilities.

This significant achievement represents a key milestone in the ongoing fight for inclusion, accessibility, and equity for the disability community in Zimbabwe. Mabhaudhi's dedication to representing and amplifying the voices of persons with disabilities has not only resulted in concrete policy changes but has also set a powerful precedent for future advocacy efforts.

Mabhaudhi and the National Disability Dialogue are also fighting for PWDs to be included in agricultural land distribution,  mining claims distribution and other economic Empowerment activities that also include the right to self representation in Parliament,  Urban and Rural Councils,  Cabinet and all levels of government. The team has already made their presentation to the Head of State, President ED Mnangagwa who is now working on ensuring that persons with disabilities are not left behind in National Development issues.

In a statement following the successful negotiation, Mabhaudhi on behalf of the National Disability Dialogue expressed gratitude for the Ministry of Finance's willingness to engage in dialogue and reconsider its taxation policy. He emphasized the importance of recognizing and addressing the specific needs and challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and reiterated his commitment to continued advocacy on their behalf.

As Zimbabwe moves towards a more inclusive and equitable society, Mabhaudhi's tireless efforts serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the disability rights movement. By championing the rights of persons with disabilities and effecting positive change at the policy level, Mabhaudhi exemplifies the transformative impact of grassroots advocacy and collective action in advancing social justice and equality for all.

Source - Byo24News