, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 8 – The Jubilee Party caucus for People With Disabilities (PWDs) has endorsed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election, saying the Jubilee government has promoted their welfare.
The caucus leader who is also the National Director for People With Disabilities Peter Muchiri lauded the Jubilee Party leadership for appointing David Sankok, the national Chairmn for People Living With Disabilities in Kenya, to the much coveted national campaign team.
“The strides made in made in guaranteeing the inclusion of persons living with disabilities are remarkable,” Muchiri noted.
According to the caucus, the government has over the past four years adopted policy changes in favour of PWDs which, it says, have guaranteed their involvement in the country’s development.
“For the last for years, there have been many programmes formulated, enacted and implemented to uplift persons living with disabilities and expand their opportunities for self development,” Muchiri told a news conference on Tuesday.
The caucus observed that employment of PWDs since Jubilee took over power had significantly increased, citing the appointment of disabled people in key government departments –including the appointment of Josepheta Mukobe as Principal Secretary for Special Programmes.
Muchiri, who also doubles up as the national director of the PWDs caucus in the ruling party, said the provision of bursaries to pupils and students living with disabilities by the Jubilee administration has helped in alleviating disparities in access to education for the physically disabled in the county.
According to the caucus, children living with disabilities have had up to Sh15,000 paid up in bursaries for those in primary schools, Sh30,000 for those in secondary schools and Sh70,000 to Sh100,000 for those in tertiary institutions.
“Most of my colleagues have been applying for education bursaries from the National Council for People with Disabilities and through the help of the council with funds set aside in 2014 have been able to learn,” said Waweru Samson, a student at the University of Nairobi’s Law School who is representing physically disabled students in the party caucus.
Waweru said the caucus will engage the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to ensure that the voting process is user-friendly to all.
“We’re working with the IEBC to ensure the challenges persons with disabilities have been facing in the electoral process are mitigated,” Waweru said adding, “ Most of us have not been voting because of mobility challenges – some voting stations have environments that are inaccessible to PWDs.” He said.
They also observed that structural grants for construction of school infrastructure and equipping resource centers for physically disabled students was a key reform in enhancing access to education.
“The government has Sh10 million in structural grants for counties for classroom construction in centers available for PWDs,” the caucus noted in a statement.
According to Muchiri, increase in cash transfers has improved the social welfare of those severely disabled with NHIF fees having been waived. He further observed that tax exemptions and a Sh50, 000 economic empowerment grant for PWD self-help groups had further improved the economy of the physically disabled.