History made as MCA takes oath in sign language

MCA takes oath in sign language

It was a historic moment as the first nominated MCA who could only speak in sign language took the oath of office in the Kirinyaga County Assembly.

At one point, the assembly went silent as Harrison Kariuki Bundi was sworn in through the guidance of his aide, Abednego Kiptoo Ng'eno.

The entire House was treated to a light moment as the smartly dressed Mr Bundi marched to the floor of the House and waited patiently to be given instructions by Mr Ng'eno on how to go about the process.

For about a minute everything remained quiet as Mr Bundi, the first deaf person to represent people with disabilities in the assembly in the devolution era, took the oath.

On standby was Mr Ng'eno, who was allowed to undertake the task of guiding Mr Bundi on the floor of the House by assembly Clerk Kamau Aidi.

Mr Bundi is among 11 MCAs nominated by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) to the assembly.

He believed in himself and was determined to capture the Karumandi ward seat in the August 9 polls but lost in the UDA nominations in April.

But with the determination of an eagle he continued lobbying to be nominated to the assembly and succeeded.

Sworn in

Speaking to reporters through his interpreter after being sworn in, Mr Bundi said he had achieved his dream of becoming MCA.

"I'm excited today for becoming one of the MCAs. I'm confident that I will serve people with disabilities effectively in the entire region," he said.

Born in Gichugu constituency, Mr Bundi wants to fight for the rights of all disadvantaged people by ensuring that they are given a chance to serve in private and public institutions. 

He pledged to push for bills that will provide better services to people with disabilities without discrimination.

He lamented that youths were suffering due to lack of jobs and promised to help address the problem.

He thanked President William Ruto's UDA for being mindful of people with disabilities and nominating him to the assembly and giving him a chance to serve the community.

Before his new role, Mr Bundi worked for the Nandi County government, which he thanked for giving him an opportunity to earn a living.

"In Nandi, I was able to sharpen my leadership skills and my task in this assembly will be an easier one," he said.

With his wife Daisy Kariuki, who is also deaf, the MCA thanked his family for their support.

Ms Kariuki congratulated her husband over his nomination and promised to continue giving him the support he needs to serve residents. 

Family members described Mr Bundi as a hardworking and shrewd man.

They said Mr Bundi grew up as a vibrant child and no one could detect that he was physically challenged.

"We learnt that he had a hearing problem when we took him to the clinic when he was a little boy aged three," said his father James Bundi.

They then took him to Kerugoya School for the Deaf to learn how to communicate effectively and get an education like other children.

Family members believed that their son had the ability to lead and serve Kirinyaga residents.


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