In Kenya today, there are about 900, 000 registered people living with disability. The Azimio-One Kenya coalition presidential aspirant Raila Odinga has promised good news to them in his government.
Previously, those people living with disability have been paying taxes normally like any other Kenyan citizen, for instance PAYE. Mr Odinga yesterday gave new hopes to all PWDs when he ascends to government.
Raila was addressing a representative group of people living with disability on Tuesday at Nyayo stadium. He promised to increase their public employment from the initial 5 percent to 10 percent. This is in accordance to the people living with disability (PWD) act 2003, which he promised to push for a review.
Disability has different levels. He said that from statistics, among the over 900,000 registered people living with disability, only 47,000 people receive direct state support.
Odinga said that every form of disability needs to be addressed at it’s level. His government will ensure priority to such group in sectors like education, where learners will access free education in public secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
The assistive devices by people with disability are a little expensive to afford. He promised to zero-rate those devices so that any one in need can easily afford and access them. This includes those devices that help on hearing, vision, recreation and even mobility.
“I will also enhance the disability fund to give PWDs effective social protection. This is possible through ensuring those able to do business are enabled to do so while those unable are provided with a safety net. Those institutions offering support to PWDs must be strengthened” he said.
Consequently, Odinga said that his government will ensure PWD have greater access to government procurement opportunities. He will therefore amend the PWD Act to give them the opportunity to enjoy economic rights as enshrined in the constitution.
The Azimio Chief added that they will work together with everyone in an inclusive approach because there is a big potential even for the PWD group, as disability is not inability. Each Kenyan will be given an opportunity to make a contribution to the development of the country.
” I know the biggest challenge facing this important group of Kenyans is stigma and discrimination. I will invest in public awareness and instigate reforms that ensure protection against discrimination to everybody.” he added.