Leaders of devolved units and county assemblies should embrace disability inclusion by becoming role models in labour practices by ensuring that persons with different disabilities get share of the county cake distribution at all key positions in both the county assembly and executive levels.
I do heare by affirm that, as major employers and service providers, county governments have a constitutional mandate of article 54, UNCRPD article 27 moral authority and also significant impact on the lives of persons with disabilities.
This is by using fair employment practices and ensuring non-discriminatory service provision to locals and ensuring access to services. County governance is going to be the major driver of Kenya’s political and economic development, considering that crucial sectors of the economy and social/public services are under their jurisdiction.
I affirm the public service commission observations made in its study report of 2014 that persons with disabilities were left out by the national and county governments. With this not withstanding, all this levels of government never met the minimum constitutional threshold of 5 % opportunities but a mere below 1 % was what has been achieved.
since the introduction of devolution in 2013 greater participation, accountability and transparency in local governance and economic
development has been observed though allot needs to be done especially in provision of opportunities to persons with disabilities.
Devolution has provided a platform and an empowering voice to the historically marginalised population in the country.
The Kenyan Constitution envisions, among others, inclusiveness and protection of the marginalised as part of our national values and principles of governance.
International labor organization indicate in its different publications that political participation, especially by persons with disabilities, may lead to qualitative and substantive changes in governance, change of attitudes contributing to creation
of an environment that is more sensitive and responsive to people’s needs. For instance workers with disabilities are prone to work extra hard and ensure they meet targets.
Recently, the United disabled persons of Kenya the umbrella advocacy body for persons with disabilities, said the country has a long way to go to achieve disability mainstreaming in political representation following
the outcome of the August 8 2017 elections. Only 7 persons with disabilities were elected. two have been elected MP, two MCAs and one woman representative.
Earlier in the year, the National Gender and Equality Commission released a report on the status of equality and inclusion. It stated that persons with
disability have been discriminated against in the electoral processes, with their political representation being minimal or totally absent because of cultural
and structural barriers. The report noted that in 2013, across all legislative bodies, only a single woman with disability was elected to the national assembly. A man with disability
was elected to the Senate, five to the National Assembly, and 10 to the county assemblies.
Nominations remedied the situation: The senate ended up with three out of 67 members (4.5 per cent); National Assembly had nine out of 349 members (2.6
per cent), while county assemblies had 71 out 2,222 members (3.2 per cent).
Its still not yet Uhuru for persons with disabilities since the gains made in 2013 especially at the nomination at the county levels seems to be drained by the powers that be.
In the nomination 2017 it was a madden issue where 17 counties din’t nominate any person with a disability. The remaining 30 counties either also never followed the right procedure or they even some counties had fake persons with disabilities.
We should continuously question why society keeps acting as a barrier to the effective participation of persons with disability in all spheres of life. All of us have to consciously and directly challenge the stereotypes we hold towards persons with disability.
The government and its organs need to put its foot forward towards realizing disability mainstreaming and ensuring the meeting of the sustainable development goals by not living persons with disabilities behind.