Just days to the general elections, persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Laikipia have appealed for equal representation stating they had been side lined by previous county assembly regimes.
Speaking during a disability advocacy forum at a Nanyuki hotel and organized by Sang’ida foundation, an organization that champions disability rights, they said lack of representation at the Laikipia county assembly had rendered them voiceless hence not able to address their issues.
“We urge persons with disabilities that they have rights that should be upheld for them to articulate their agenda. In previous elections there was poor PWDs representation in several counties including Laikipia. This time round, we believe representation will be fair,” said Joseph Lerina, Laikipia North Voluntary Service Overseas representative, a charity organization aimed at empowering local communities.
Dennis Kaniaru, said they had sought legal redress in court to compel the Laikipia county assembly for representation which failed.
“In Laikipia, PWDs have had a myriad of challenges especially on political leadership due to lack of a representation to articulate our needs,” said Kaniaru,
He noted that PWDs have capability to lead where some have shown interest in political positions.
“If we are not lucky to get elected PWDs, we have to ensure we get the set aside nomination slots to enable us address disabilities issues,” added Kaniaru.
Kaniaru further called on electoral agencies to ensure they have well laid measures that will aid PWDs in exercising their democratic rights come August 9 general elections.
Ms Jacinta Silakan, Sang’ida foundation director said they are working on formulating a disability movement in the region targeting to champion disabilities rights on a clear roadmap which she cited had been a nightmare for PWDs hence not able to access opportunities as enshrined in the 2010 constitution and the disability Act of 2003.