NAIROBI, Kenya May 29 – Members of Parliament representing people with disabilities are demanding 22 slots of the 290 in the National Assembly, in order to comply with the five percent constitutional provision on representation.,
Nominated MPs Isaac Mwaura, Bishop Robert Mutemi, Godliva Omondi and Janet Taiya accused their counterparts of discriminating them.
“We are insisting as Kenya Disability Parliamentarians Association (KEDIPA) that those women MPs that come on board as gender top-up then 5pc of them must be women with disabilities. There is this notion that when you talk about women and they are always left out of the discourse,” Mwaura said.
“We are demanding 22 slots in the National Assembly specifically for the people with disabilities. If we are not going to increase the number of MPs, then out of the 12 Nominated MPs slots, we are saying four out 12, must be two men and two women. Then the other seats can be four women and four can be for marginalized.”
Mwaura complained they have been denied a kitty to enable them perform their duties.
The MPs said they are forced to dig into their pockets to reach the constituents after the House Budget and Appropriations Committee rejected their request for the creation of a Sh300 million kitty.
Bishop Mutemi stated: “The MPs and MCAs that have come on-board through the disability affirmative action must be given resources so that they can address the needs of their constituent members. This discrimination that we are seeing starting from the National Assembly through to the County Assemblies must stop.”
“Our mileage allowance is pegged to where I am registered as a voter, meaning I cannot make a claim if I go outside of that area, which is why we are asking, were we nominated to this seats so that we can just earn a salary and not help our people?” Taiya posed.
Mwaura added that staff attached to their offices are not paid as well as those attached to their able-bodied colleagues because as nominated MPs they usually get a third of salaries earned by their counterparts.
Senator Omondi accused Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki of undermining the work of nominated leaders especially those with disability.
“When it comes for facilitation, we must treat MPs equally. The issue of dividing MPs between those who are superior and other are like flower-girls it’s a high time that we want to tell our colleagues that we are not flower girls in parliament, we are equal to the task. We came purposefully to serve the interest of people we are representing,” she said.