Disabled people demand slots in law team

October 10, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10- Persons living with disability have demanded for inclusion in the nine-member Constitution Implementation Committee.

Board member National Council for Persons with Disabilities, David Wanjama said on Sunday that out of the nine member committee to be formed, three of them should be persons with disabilities.

“We don’t want to be told to wait to be involved in other commissions; we have enough experts who can even work better that some other people,” Mr Wanjama said.

 “We are not begging for this, it is within our constitutional right.”

He said that persons with disabilities must be well represented in that committee as stipulated in the Constitution.

“And they should not just pick anybody from the blues; it must be a person who understands issues of various categories of disabilities,” he said.

Addressing a press conference to mark World Mental Health Day, the persons living with mental disability also asked the government to immediately disburse cash transfer funds that was promised to parents last year.

Mr Wanjama said despite the Ministry of Finance allocating Sh550 million in the 2009/2010 financial budget for the elderly and persons with disabilities and Sh530 million in 2010/2011 budget they were yet to receive their share.

“The ministry concerned found it easier to deal with the elderly, I don’t know whether it is because it is easier to corrupt on that side and they also thought that parents and relatives of persons with mental disability don’t have capacity to follow up,” he claimed.

He demanded for Sh200 million for persons with mental disabilities and warned that they would look for other means to demand for the cash if the government continued to delay.

“We have been pushing and pushing about the cash transfer. Last month we had organised a strike but the government promised that it was laying the structures to ensure parents get this money, one month is over and we have not heard anything from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Services,” he said.

He also urged the government to make medication for the mentally challenged free.

“When a parent requires not less than Sh6,000 every month to keep their child alive this is like killing them silently. Nobody with mental disability should die for lack of medication.”

Kenya Society for the Mentally Handicapped Deputy Chief Executive Officer Hilna Pankaj Shah said the institution would shift its focus from charity to human rights approaches and procedures.

“To ensure that we fully conform to the new constitution, we persons with mental disabilities shall immediately begin to actively participate in the governance and democracy processes of our country. We will claim our rights in the political, social, economic and cultural life and shall insist that access to support be provided in line with different aspects of reasonable accommodations,” she said.



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