Public warned against discriminating PWDs

He asked the public to show love to the disabled, cooperate, and work with them in order not to be traumatized.

Masindi: Leaders and stakeholders in Masindi district have raised a red flag over the discrimination against people living with disabilities (PWDs).

Alice Kyakuhairwe Friday, a resident of Kisengya Cell Nyangahya Division in Masindi Municipality stressed that, in most cases, they are discriminated against and their rights abused.

‘’We are discriminated against in our community; sometimes we are called all sorts of names, and this hurts us so much because we were all created in the image of God, and we never wanted to be disabled.’’

Juliet Atuhura, a resident of Bwijanga, decried that she is always isolated and mocked by her siblings for being disabled. ‘’Sometimes they deny me food; they isolate and mock me for being disabled.’’

Atuhura told this publication that she survives on agriculture as her source of income. ‘’I dig and get what to eat and sell in order to buy scholastic materials for my child.’’

Oliver Mbasabireki, a PWD caretaker, appealed to the government to provide support for the PWDs. ‘’In some families, PWDs are denied the right to education and are discriminated against even during the provision of basic needs.’’

Joseph Baguma, the Speaker of Nyangahya Division, says that in most cases, children with disabilities are discriminated against by their parents or caretakers.

According to Baguma, some parents and caretakers tend to hide them from the public. ‘’Some even lock them in houses when they are going to public places like markets and water sources, among others; this violates their rights.

Baguma, who is also a PWD, further stressed that disabled children are often denied their rights to education and health care, among others, since parents prioritize normal children over PWDs.

‘’This has resulted in the self-isolation of the PWDs; some have hated themselves, and some parents forget that the PWDs have their rights as citizens and are of great importance in the country.’’

Pastor Charles Bagongza, the overseer of Pentecostal Churches of Uganda, advised fellow preachers, mostly those who organize crusades, to desist from inviting PWDs for their crusade using all sorts of names in order to heal them.

‘’It’s very bad to invite the PWDs for crusades with all sorts of names; they are always traumatized and disappointed when they don’t get healed in their crusades.’’

Bagonza therefore advised fellow preachers to desist from calling PWDs all sorts of names for their crusades and instead bring them closer and treat them like any other human being.

‘’We were all created in the image of God, and God treats us equally. Why would you call the PWDs all sorts of names yet they are human beings like us? It’s very bad,’’ he stressed.

Isaac Bongomin, the LC3 Chairperson for Central Division, however, advised pregnant mothers to always seek antenatal services, refrain from alcoholism, and ensure children are properly immunized, stressing that they have also been attributed to disabilities among newborns.

‘’Sometimes you get a pregnant mother smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or even chewing weed; these substances are unhealthy for unborn babies, and they contribute to disabilities among the newborns.’’

William Mwambu, the district councillor representing the PWDs, said they have embarked on training civil servants like medics and others on sign language interpretation and how to handle the PWDs.

‘’Some PWDs have been missing services at public places like health centers, police stations, and others. Currently,  we are training section workers in the above places to address the challenges and improve service delivery for the PWDs,’’ he said.

Mwambu asked the public to show love to the disabled, cooperate, and work with them in order not to be traumatized.

The politician also asked the government to always have slots when recruiting workers, mostly in forces like prisons, police, and the military, saying that PWDs can also serve in the forces’ offices.

Hiding PWDs

Mwambu has warned families or caretakers of PWDs against hiding them during the national census.

Mwambu’s warning comes at a time when Uganda is preparing to carry out the national census, which will run for ten days from May 9th to May 19th, 2024.

According to Mwambu, some families or caretakers tend to hide PWDs during this exercise, something he stresses hinders the government from budgeting accurately for PWDs, thus affecting service delivery.

He therefore rallied families with PWDs to mobilize them for the forthcoming census and national identity card registration exercises to enable them to benefit from government programs.


Mwambu also challenged parents or families with PWDs to educate them at least at the primary and secondary levels, assuring them that the government is sponsoring PWDs at the university.

He said PWDs are also of great importance in the community, so they shouldn’t be discriminated against or denied their rights.

PWD’s land titling

Mwambu has revealed that the government is taking a significant step to address land ownership challenges faced by PWDs and their families.

Recognizing that these families often lack the resources to title their land, the government plans to embark on a project to title lands for the PWds at zero cost during the 2024/25 financial year.

Mwambu says this initiative aims to provide security and legal recognition to PWDs and their families, ensuring that they have ownership rights over their land.

The project will be implemented across 33 districts in the country, including Masindi.

Mwambu encourages local leaders to actively engage and mobilize PWDs and their families to take advantage of this opportunity for land titling.

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Innocent Atuganyira

Innocent Atuganyira is a resilient multimedia journalist, a born of the oil-rich Buliisa district but working in Masindi District, Mid-Western Uganda. Contact: +256786816091/ WhatsApp +256757022363

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