Kwale PWDs decry being left out in county assembly nominations

A section of people living with disabilities addressing the press in Kwale County.  

Photo credit: Siago Cece I Nation

People with disabilities in Kwale have decried what they call underrepresentation in the county assembly.

They claimed they failed again to have one of their own nominated to the county assembly this year, saying they are discriminated against.

Speaking in Kwale town, John Mutiso said being left out means they will not enjoy the benefits earmarked for them by the county.

“We are disappointed that in the nominations list of members of the county assembly, none of us is there and this is unconstitutional,” Mr Mutiso said.

The special-interest group has threatened to go to court in a bid to prevent the swearing-in of MCAs scheduled for Wednesday.

“Most nominations are just based on politics and parties are selecting the people loyal to them, leaving us behind. If that continues, who is going to fight for our rights?” he asked.

Victoria Mutisya, another PWD, said Kwale County had lagged behind in the representation of people like her when other counties ensured they had a PWD either in the assembly or holding an office in the county government.

“We feel left out in Kwale because, for the last 10 years, we feel we have not benefited from devolution, leave alone the national government,” she said.

Among the benefits PWDs are supposed to get from counties are priorities in the awarding of tenders and access to revolving funds.

They also want to get financial aid to acquire wheelchairs, hearing aids, crutches and white canes for those who are blind.

Lilian Kanini, a PWD, said that not having any of these advantages makes them feel left out.

“If we had one or two people representing us, they would help in the passing of bills to laws that favour us in many ways. But this has never happened,” Ms Kanini said.

Kwale MCAs will be sworn in and start sittings on September 21.

They include legislators nominated by major parties like the Orange Democratic Movement and United Democratic Movement.

After being sworn in, they will vet County Executive Committee members nominated by Governor Fatuma Achani.

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