The Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB) has expressed displeasure over government’s failure implement the Marrakesh Treaty it adopted in 2017 which among others stipulates a provision to amend the copyright law so that it incorporates the needs for the visually impaired persons.
The Union’s Executive Director, Ezekiel Kumwenda has said this as the country joins the global community in observing the World Braille day which falls on January 4 annually.
In a statement Kumwenda said government has been silent on the matter despite submitting an amendment bill of the law in 2019, which he says continues to affect persons with visual impairments in various aspects.
“The adoption of the Marrakesh treaty was in vain as government is failing to implement some of its provisions which include copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for the visually impaired persons,” he said.
Kumwenda said this continues to impact negatively on the people with visual impairments as there is limited access and availability of reading materials for the blind.
He has since asked government to table the copyright bill in parliament so that people with visual impairments should start benefiting from it.
The Union’s executive director went on to ask government to ensure that there is readily available information in accessible formats on the covid-19 and other issues to ensure that people with visual impairments are up to date on various things happening in the societies.
Kumwenda has also asked government to put duty exemption on imported equipment for the blind which includes.