Trans Nzoia County PWDs: Principle progressive appointment of PWDs in appointive bodies recommendation is in itself discriminative

President Uhuru and ODM Leader Raila receive BBI R

On Wednesday morning President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga received the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report in Kisii county where the BBI rallies began months before the country was hit with the novel coronavirus virus in March. 

The initiative which was conceived after the handshake between president Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga in March 2018, after months of political instability following the 2017 general elections that almost ditched the country into violence, was formed with the aim of eradicating post elections violence among other recommendations on board by the initiative.

The report has generated reactions from various political leaders flooding, after the deputy president Dr. William Ruto on Mashujaa Day urged of a "reggae" that should have a national dialogue and outlook not clinching on one side.

His support member of Parliament Kimani Ichungwa echoed this sentiments saying that the report should be given time and that people should not be forced to and intimidated to support it during the burial of Huruma MCA in Uasin Gishu county.

Among the recommendation in the report is the inclusivity of all in government including the people living with Disability (PWDS), whose inclusion in the government had for quite awhile been of the board in the society.

In the document the a review of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2003 to align it with the increased opportunities and gains for PWDs in the Constitution, fast-tracking the enactment of the Kenyan Sign Language Bill to ensure that PWDs are able access information and public services, formulation of a Learners with Disabilities Bill, affirmative action for political inclusion, and the strengthening of Commissions and bodies established by the legislation relating to people with disabilities to enforce the law.

PWDs representatives made passionate remarks on their desire to directly choose their own elective representatives, and that political party electoral and nomination mechanisms should take this into account. It was submitted that though the Constitution requires the State to ensure the progressive implementation of the principle that at least 5% of the members of the public in elective and appointive bodies are persons with disabilities, progress had been very slow.

The Trans Nzoia county PWDs society members say that the recommendation forwarded by the report still sidelines them on the matters national importance with the word "Progressive" in the report sparkling lots of arguments.

"This is a blanket recommendations on PWDs. The word progressive should not be included in this document in regards to addressing disability agenda. We have waited since 2010 progressively," said Mr. Opis Ojiambo Chairman of PWDs Trans Nzoia County.

"We discussed in our last meeting with our able National Officers. The word PROGRESSIVE should be removed completely, that's the beginning of discrimination and infringement of our rights as PWDs in this nation," said a member of the Trans Nzoia PWDs Kimweyi Tolometi.

The recommendations on the PWDs in the report have receive mixed reactions from the members, some applauding the idea of electing their own elective representative and disagreeing on the aspect of principle progressive appointment of PWDs in appointive bodies.

"If this word Progressively will not be there I will fully support the bill." Said Roselyne Nyaga a member of the Trans Nzoia PWDs society.

 

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