People living with disabilities face various barriers that hinder full and equal access to their enjoyment of human rights, a representative of Thuso Rehabilitation Center in Maun, Isaiah Moyo, revealed at a human rights conference in Maun last week.
According to Moyo, the conference- Convention on the Rights of People living with Disabilities (CRDP) recognizes the importance of accessibility to the physical, social, economic and cultural environment; to health education and to information and communication, in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
“Accessibility is an important starting point for any discussion about the human rights of persons with disabilities and no one can enjoy a human right that they cannot access, and persons with disabilities face many barriers that hinder full and equal access to their enjoyment of human rights,” said Moyo.
He explained that the barriers that persons with disabilities encounter can be divided into four categories which are attitudinal barriers, physical barriers, informational and institutional barriers. He said that attitudinal barriers stem from the negative attitude their families or communities give them as well as the lack of understanding with regards to disability issues by society.
Moyo said that some of the identified barriers among persons with disabilities are that the rules are not the same and gender, age and the type of impairment are factors that directly influence level of access. “Accessible environment means creating and maintaining environments in which people can participate in a dignified way, with maximum independence and in an environment that is safe and affordable,” says Moyo.
He said that for a majority of people with disabilities access within or outside the house is limited and in most cases due to lack of access, it is common to find a person with disability spending most of the time on bed or sitting in front of the house. Moyo added that they are unable to have independent access to water or food or toilets and their homes become a virtual prison.
“Investments to rearrange or alter or relocate is rarely considered and this is the same unless and until the person with disability takes an extreme stand and demands for the provisions and only then something happens,” explained Moyo. Moyo added that non-availability of appropriate rehabilitation services in some places further restricts or limits access and affects self esteem of a disabled person. He stated that some of the ways of removal of the barriers to accessibility is to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers to accessibility by developing and monitoring implementation of minimum accessibility standards and guidelines by providing training on accessibility for stakeholders.
He said that the use of universal design is intended to ensure access by all people, to the greatest extent possible without the need for adaptation or specialized design. “Universal design means products and buildings that are accessible and useable by everyone, including people with disabilities. The goal of the universal design is to create an environment that is accessible to everyone from the design stage forward,” explained Moyo.
Moyo said that it is necessary and appropriate for modifications and adjustments to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and the link to accessibility runs in several directions. “First, persons who are unable to access certain goods and services via universal design should nonetheless be provided accessibility in other ways like through personal assistance,” said Moyo.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.