On 29th August 2014, SAFOD in conjunction with the Federation of Disability Organizations in Malawi (FEDOMA) jointly submitted a petition to the Malawian Airlines appealing to the company to take drastic measures aimed at ensuring that all its facilities and services are disability-friendly ahead of the 2014 AfriNEAD Symposium which will take place from 3rd- 5th November 2014 at Sun and Sand Holiday Resort in Mangochi.
The petition was produced against the background that Malawi prepares to host the 2014 AfriNEAD Symposium organized by the Secretariat of the African Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability (AfriNEAD) in collaboration with the Faculty of Social Science of the University of Malawi; the Government of Malawi; and FEDOMA. As a country we are expecting about 200 delegates with disabilities from various countries to pass through our airport.
Having noted with regret that some of the services rendered by Airline leave a lot of to be desired despite Government passing the Disability Act barely two years ago, our main fear is that is the potential humiliation that Malawi may face during the conference should there be no attempts to improve services and facilities to make them disability-friendly.
Our case has been strengthened by the complaint submitted to the same company by our colleague, the Chief Executive Officer for the Africa Disability Alliance (ADA), Mr. Kudakwashe Dube, who is alleged to have been dragged on the floor to and from his aircraft seat in Lilongwe, on both his arrival and departure dates on 13 August 2014 and 15 August 2014, respectively.