The Star
PWDs in Trans Nzoia ask IEBC for special voting booths
1 day ago
Persons living with disabilities in Trans Nzoia county want the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to provide them with special booths on voting day.

They said they want convenience and to protect the secrecy of their vote during marking of ballot papers.

"We were not given anything meaningful especially at the county level and this is why we are ready to vote with our conscience," Trans Nzoia PWDs chairman Ahmed Ojiambo Opis said.

Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), just like any other citizens, have the right, without unreasonable restrictions, to vote by secret ballot in the 9 August election.

Opis said persons with disabilities had been given a raw deal by both national and county governments.

He spoke at the ukombozi Centre in kitale Saturday when he led more than 200 PWD members to support former Rift Valley regional commissioner George Natembeya for Trans Nzoia governorship.

The outgoing county government, he said, failed to initiate partnership with persons living with disabilities.

"PWDs are not disabled upstairs to warrant denial of jobs and other opportunities meant to empower them economically just like any other Kenyan Citizen," Opis said.

Joseph Kamanda, a special school principal and Zipporah Shikuku who also addressed the media said there was need for a national conversation to make radical changes that will see persons with disabilities be accorded what rightfully befits them.

"We have been discriminated for long and treated as lesser citizens. The coming administration should provide a better platform for the disabled to access services unhindered,"Kamanda said.

He added that most of their children had missed out on government bursary allocations.

Shikuku asked the next Parliament and county assemblies to enact legislation that will help promote business ventures of persons living with disabilities.

She asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to assist in transporting many of the disabled persons to reach voting centers.

“We have moblilised our members to turn up in large numbers to vote only that they may be faced with transportation hitches," she said.

A suggestion was also made to the Commission to in future have voting material printed in Braille and sign language to enable PWDs and those with hearing impairments to vote easily.

Trans Nzoi County has 18, 400 registered PWDs spread across all 25 electoral wards .