Malawi Parliamentarians have passed the much awaited Persons with Disabilities Bill into law.

Speaking after the passage of the bill, Minister of Gender, Community Development, and Social Welfare, Jean Muonaouza Sendeza said the new legislation will enhance equalization of opportunities among persons with disabilities in the country.

"This bill seeks to improve the welfare of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities have been facing  numerous challenges like failing to access social amenities. In this case, social services like inclusive health services will be improved", she said.

She added that the bill has repealed the old Persons Handicapped Act of 1972 which had no relevant matters to address disabilities rights effectively.

Speaking on behalf of opposition, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Ben Phiri said bringing the bill to the parliament signifies total willingness the country has in bringing equal opportunities  towards Persons with disabilities.

"The passing of this bill brings an opportunity to align ourselves to accommodate our colleagues (persons with disabilities). We need to align ourselves to the international standards as we are living in a global village and we need to move away from old way of doing our things so let us take away the old Handicapped Act", he lamented.

In his remarks, Member if Parliament for Nkhotakota North-East, Overstone Kondowe said the old Handicapped Act did not recognise other disability types like albinism, epilepsy, interectual  and psychosocial disability hance the need to repeal it.

Once the president assents to the bill and gazetted into law, the disability sector will have a new Persons with Disabilities Act.