Artiste with a disability protests exclusion from UDA nomination list

Popular Bungoma musician David Sakari has protested after his name missed on UDA county assembly nominees list

Bungoma musician David Sakari.


Photo credit: Brian Ojamaa | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • UDA nominated Rugut Angeline Chelagat from Uasin Gishu, Kirui Eunice from Mt Elgon and Sifuma Shillah
  • He is among people with disabilities across Bungoma County’s nine constituencies who had threatened to seek a court injunction to bar the swearing-in of MCAs today 
  • But UDA Bungoma coordinator Michael Malomba Bungoma claimed Mr Sakari did not apply for the position

A popular Bungoma-based artiste who has a disability is angry that his name was not on the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) list of nominated members of the county assembly.

He claims he was promised the position by President William Ruto.

Mr David Sakari, a diehard supporter of the President, claims his name was struck from the list and replaced by that of a nominee from the Rift Valley.  

The Bukusu musician said he was promised the position by Dr Ruto ahead of the elections and he had applied for it.

Mr Sakari was among people with disabilities across Bungoma County’s nine constituencies who had threatened to seek a court injunction to bar the swearing-in of MCAs today on the grounds that none of their members was nominated to the House.

UDA nominated Rugut Angeline Chelagat from Uasin Gishu, Kirui Eunice from Mt Elgon and Sifuma Shillah, while Ford Kenya nominated Catherine Kituyi, Dorcas Nakhumicha, Linda Wekesa, Evelyn Wabwire, Metrine Nangila, Bridgit Lusike and Maurine Katika.

The Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) nominated Florence Juma, Metrine Nangalama and Alice Kibaba.

Disgruntled members of Ford Kenya have urged party leader and National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula to intervene. The rest of the complainants asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to investigate, faulting political parties that they supported in the elections.

Mr Sakari, who received a vehicle from Dr Ruto in 2015, was instrumental in spearheading UDA campaigns in the Western region. He was once beaten and hit with a bottle of beer at a popular joint in Webuye for drumming up support for the ‘Hustler gospel’ in June 2021.

He said he had applied for the position after being assured by Dr Ruto that he would get a slot.

“I was even shortlisted among the five people who were to be nominated, and in my category we were only two who applied to be nominated," he claimed.

But UDA Bungoma coordinator Michael Malomba Bungoma claimed Mr Sakari did not apply for the position.

"You know some of these people who are lamenting and making noise did not even apply for the nomination, like Mr Sakari, we didn't have his application," he said, claims that the complainant rejected.

"I am a very bitter person to learn that I was shortchanged at the 11th hour and I am appealing to the President, who is our party leader, to intervene and have my name back on the nomination list," said Mr Sakari, who was with a large crowd of supporters.

"My name was replaced with someone who is not even a voter in Bungoma County, why?" Mr Sakari asked. He argued that he had mobilised votes from people with disabilities for Kenya Kwanza.

"Through my vigorous campaigns, I ensured that the first person living with disability was elected as Webuye East MP,” referring to Martin Wanyonyi Pepela.

Adrian Sakwa, the chairman of the Bungoma County Disability Empowerment Network and chairman of the Ford Kenya Disability Network, said the party had failed to honor the deal despite an earlier binding agreement.

"We are perturbed about the list of nominated MCAs that appeared in the [Kenya] Gazette notice recently. No persons living with disability was picked. We will stop the swearing-in ceremony of MCAs at the Bungoma County Assembly until our plea is heard and determined," he said.

The notice published recently showed women were the greatest beneficiaries in the nominations, with 14 picked for the assembly through various parties under the gender top-up consideration.

"We will not allow the assembly to proceed without the inclusion of people with disabilities. The Constitution is very clear. The government and private institutions should include people with disabilities in any other formations," Mr Sakwa said.

He added: “But Ford Kenya failed to meet this requirement. So far, 21 counties have not included [people with disabilities] in their county assemblies’ composition."

His sentiments were echoed by Titus Ndalu, chairman of the County Disability Network, who insisted that they will seek redress in court unless they get a representative in the assembly.

"We have suffered for so long since 2017 … No one has been nominated to our assembly yet the law is very clear that five percent of us should be included in any appointive or elective positions," he said.

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