Disability campaigner and executive director for the Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi, (Fedoma) Mussa Chiwaula, is relocating to Gaborone, Botswana to head the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (Safod).
Safod is a leading Southern African disability-focused network engaged in the coordination of activities of organisations for disabled persons in the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) region.
Chiwaula told The Nation, his appointment as director general was with effect from February 1 2014. He is expected to depart for Botswana in July, this year.
The former Fedoma executive director will be joined by another Malawian, journalist and child and disability rights activist George Mwika Kayange, who has been appointed projects coordinator.
Kayange will also be based in Botswana.
“Currently, we are operating from Malawi before we relocate to Botswana because we are doing preparatory work while at the same time processing our work permits,” said Chiwaula, who is Fedoma founding member.
He said his aspiration as head of Safod is to put disability issues on the Sadc agenda as the region seems not to be doing enough.
“For instance, we don’t have a Sadc protocol on disability unlike other areas such as women. I will also ensure that Safod affiliates are given enough capacity to lobby and implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability in their respective countries,” explained Chiwaula.
He said his other vision is to promote research on disability issues in the region so that there is enough information and basis for more strategic interventions.
Chiwaula, who has worked for Fedoma for 14 years, will head Safod secretariat overseeing 10 Sadc countries which include Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Angola and Namibia.
Meanwhile, Fedoma’s board has appointed Action Amos as the federation’s new executive director.
Safod was formed in 1986 by disabled people for disabled people as a federation of non-governmental disability organisations in Sadc and to date 10 countries are affiliated to it through national federations of disabled people (NFDPOs).