NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 22 — Kenya Kwanza Presidential Candidate William Ruto has said prejudice against persons with disabilities must stop.
He said they are human beings like others but differently abled.
He noted that it was wrong to discriminate against such people.
“They face stigma, are denied their rights and access to justice and economic opportunities. As a result, most of them live in poverty,” he explained.
He said there was an urgent need for persons with disabilities to be empowered, protected and supported.
Dr Ruto noted that is was crucial that these people have an active voice and are seated at the centre of the country’s decision-making table “to take control of their lives”.
He was speaking on Wednesday at the Ngong’ Racecourse in Nairobi County where Kenya Kwanza signed a charter with people living with disabilities.
Leaders present were Musalia Mudavadi, Alfred Mutua, David Ole Sankok, Isaac Mwaura, Millicent Omanga, Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, Benjamin Washiali, among others.
“We will deliberately involve persons with disabilities in the political process of our country to drive policies and actions that will scale up their needs,” added Dr Ruto.
He explained that Kenya Kwanza will be deliberate on access to business and jobs for persons with disabilities.
“We will also partner and encourage the private sector to expand economic opportunities for these people.”
Sankok regretted that persons with disabilities were still being despised and discriminated against.
“We cannot just be toilet cleaners or suppliers of tissue papers and toothpicks. We are educated and can engage in serious business,” said the nominated Senator.
Mwaura said Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) cannot just be on paper.
“It must be real. It should be quantified so that we actualise the dream of engaging persons with disabilities in gainful business,” he observed.
On his part, Mudavadi said the Kenya Kwanza administration will ensure that persons with disabilities do not face public apathy.
“We will ensure that they enter the social mainstream as productive people”.