Persons With Disabilities Decry Lack Of Representation In County Assemblies

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PHOTO BY KNA

Persons With Disabilities in Kilifi County have filed a petition in court seeking orders to nullify all nominations to the county assembly.

In the petition filed at a Malindi high court, the Federation of Deaf women empowerment group Kenya together with other organizations sued the independent electoral and boundaries commission (IEBC), Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), and Pamoja African Alliance party (PAA) for allegedly violating the rights and freedom of Persons With Disabilities in the nomination process.

They lamented that no single person with disability was nominated to the assembly.

Through their representatives, they are now calling upon the court to order the first respondent which is IEBC to direct the two parties, PAA and ODM to resubmit a list with persons With Disabilities.

The organizations say the absence of their representatives in the assembly will affect the progress they have made in the last five years in effecting various policies such as the Persons With Disabilities Act 2022 which seeks that 30 percent of county tenders be allocated to Persons with disabilities in the county.

Last month, United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ms. Sally Nduta, said that the IEBC gazette notice dated September 9, 2022, for the nomination of Members of County Assemblies excluded Persons With Disabilities.

The UDPK CEO alleged that same happened in the 2017 general elections.

“We noted with heightened concern that there was a lack of representation of Persons with Disabilities in 21 County Assemblies. This is manifested continuation of the previous pattern of intentional oversight where after the 2017 General Elections a total of 22 County Assemblies did not have a single representation of Persons with Disabilities,” said the CEO.

Nduta pointed out that representation of Persons with Disabilities in main decision-making spaces guarantees their inclusion in societal affairs as stated in the constitution of 2010.

Counties lacking PWD nominees include Kilifi, Meru, Kwale, Isiolo, Marsabit, Taita Taveta, Wajir, Tharaka Nithi, Machakos, Makueni, Turkana, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Uasin Gishu, Baringo, Narok, Kericho, Bungoma, Nyamira, and Nairobi.

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