MACOHA to rebrand to Malawi Council of Disability Affairs (MACODA) as it celebrates 50th anniversary

Catherine Mwale pin the flower on Chakwera that he bought at K1 million

* We do not use the word ‘handicapped’ anymore—Board chairperson Dr. Chiwoza Bandawe

* It is a stereotype that has no place in the modern world

* It is high time the country changes its perception that persons with disabilities are disabled

By Sylvester Kumwenda, MANA

Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA), is rebranding into Malawi Council of Disability Affairs (MACODA) as it moves forward after serving and enhancing lives of persons with disabilities for the past 50 years.


Board Chairperson, Dr. Chiwoza Bandawe disclosed this on Thursday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when President Lazarus Chakwera inaugurated this year’s Flag Week that helps in mobilizing resources to address some of the challenges the Council faces.

“We do not use the word ‘handicapped’ anymore. “So this will be the Malawi Council of Disability Affairs.


“It is going to be a Council that will have more teeth in ensuring all institutions and organizations are disability friendly,” Bandawe Bandawe said, adding that it was high time the country changes its perception that persons with disabilities are disabled.

“It is a stereotype that has no place in the modern world. We strongly believe that all people, including people with disabilities, are capable of fulfilling their dreams.

“They are capable of living fruitful and productive lives just like everyone else.”

Some of the products the Council members produce

He added that for the past 50 years, MACOHA has been facing various challenges like finances which hindered it from fulfilling its aspirations and thus urged the citizenry to contribute generously during the exercise for it to continue to implement projects and government policies to enhance the lives of persons with disabilities.

Bandawe urged all stakeholders to accord equal opportunities to everyone, including persons with disabilities, saying: “Disability is not inability is not just a mantra — it is a call for action to encourage persons with disabilities to take control of their lives, leave normal lives and, of course, prosper.”

In his remarks, President Chakwera said Malawians should reflect through the eyes of persons with disabilities in order to evaluate whether interventions being put in place to improve their livelihoods are having meaningful and intended impacts.

He said a lot of interventions have been put in place aimed at promoting the plight of persons with disabilities, but people need to listen to the voices of the affected to see if these interventions are working.

Paying homage to former Member of Parliament, the late Clement Chiwaya, who lived with a disability and died from to a self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound, the President said Malawians should do much more in alleviating challenges person with disabilities are facing.

Former Minister late Clement Chiwaya

“The more I reflect on the work so many have done to empower persons with disabilities in the past 50 years, the more I realize that we have a long way to go to make persons with disabilities feel that they are in a new Malawi in which everyone prospers together.

“We should not deceive ourselves with the notion that we have done enough to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities. If persons with disabilities are themselves saying that we are not doing enough, then we must work as though we haven’t done anything at all. That is the new Malawi we want.”

The President then directed that Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare should conduct an assessment of every public institution’s performance in upholding the rights and dignity of persons with disability.

He directed Ministry of Local Government to ensure that all infrastructures in all Councils across the country are accessible to all.

Chakwera bought the first flower at K1 million, which was pinned on his jacket’s breast pocket by Catherine Mwale, a little girl living with albinism.

This year’s Flag Week is being celebrated under the theme ‘50 Years of Empowering Persons with Disabilities’.

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