, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7 – The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Thematic hearings on persons with disabilities were on Tuesday put off due to what was described as a ‘technical’ hitch.
The proceedings were however expected to resume on Wednesday with the thematic hearing on women, however that for the persons with disability which was due to take place at City Hall was put off indefinitely.
Some of the persons with disabilities who had attended the hearing expressed dissatisfaction at the postponement.
“They have done wrong. We had organised ourselves… we have wasted our time and we closed our businesses to be here,” complained Samuel Karanja, a person with disability.
“We really wanted to put our case forward but now we have to wait until they call us back,” said Daniel Njoroge another person with disability.
Timothy Aseka of the Albinism Society of Kenya said: “We were to talk about the issues that have been affecting persons with albinism in Kenya and the postponement of the meeting has been untimely.”
He added: “It’s quite unfortunate but it’s also good that they have postponed so that we can have more persons living with disability come and share their issues.”
However, there are those who felt the deferment was inevitable due to the low turnout.
“The attendance is evident enough that the event wasn’t so much publicised and to me this one now gives us an opportunity to be able to put forward a very strong case,” said the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya Program Assistant on Human Rights.
The issues to be addressed were situational analysis of persons living with disabilities in Kenya, funding for persons with disability, access to employment and recommendations
Other issues were experiences of families/ caregivers of persons with disability and the relation between the association for the physically disabled of Kenya and the government.
The commissioners expected at the meeting were Margaret Shava, Gertrude Chawatema, Ronald Slye and Berhanu Dinka who only received memos and papers that were to be presented by the persons with disabilities.
The TJRC thematic and institutional hearings began in mid December last year after conduct of individual hearings countrywide.
The TJRC is expected to submit its report and recommendations in May this year.