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Enact laws to Guarantee our Place in the Legislature, PWD Urge Assemblies

The 3rd Annual Legislative Summit has kicked off in earnest, with calls for meaningful inclusion of persons living with disability within the governance spectrum and indeed within the National and County Legislatures, as envisaged in the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

Noting that over 20 County Assemblies do not have membership from within people living with disability, nominated Senator Sen. Isaac Mwaura, further called for enactment of legislation to cure the lacuna in law that does not guarantee the place for representatives from among people living with disability.

“More than 20 Counties do not have representatives with disabilities. Though we have made progress, we have to continue to produce evidence that indeed People Living with Disability do matter in the development of our society”, he observed. Senator Mwaura who was representing the Speaker of the Senate, Sen. Kenneth Lusaka in a pre-summit event for the Legislators living with Disability, urged the County Assemblies to enact the County Disability Act before the next general elections to ensure that the gains so far made in that regard are not lost to political expediency. He also appealed to the legislators to bridge the gap on data of People Living with Disability so as to adequately inform the National Census due next year.

Senator Mwaura noted that People Living with Disability had often been left out in high level appointments in the national government noting that the highest government ranking officer in the government within that group is the Principal Secretary for Heritage Ms. Josphetta Mukobe. “We want to see a person living with disability appointed to serve in the Cabinet”, he noted. He challenged the county governments to ensure that people living with disability are appointed as Executive Members of their governments, in a bid to embrace their contribution to the society.

Making his contribution to the forum, the County Assemblies’ Forum chairperson Hon. Johnson Osoi called upon the County Assemblies Representatives living with disability to protect the rights of the people living with disability in the society. “You must ensure that you champion the agenda of the people living with disability. This includes changing their narrative and legislating with an aim to improve their facilities “, he appealed.

According to the 2009 National Census, 1.3 million people living with disability; 3% of the total population, are documented.

Elsewhere at the sidelines of the 3rd Annual Legislative Summit, young Legislators from both the national and county assemblies have been urged to institutionalize the youth caucus so as to help improve capacity among themselves and have a common front while addressing youth issues.

Speaking while addressing a side event for young legislators in the on-going 3rd Annual Legislative Summit, Nairobi Senator Sen. Johnson Sakaja- who is the also the Chairperson of the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association, noted that there exists no common front from which youth leaders among them legislators can address matters affecting the youth across the country.

The sentiments were echoed by the Chairperson, County Assemblies’ Forum and Kajiado County Assembly Speaker, Hon. Johnson Osoi who urged the county legislators to forge a working relationship with the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association (KYPA) and other youth oriented groups so as to improve capacity for both elected and nominated Members of the County Assemblies.

Nandi County Assembly Speaker Hon. Joshua Kiptoo, asked the legislators to Cascade and demystify the information about the Big Four Agenda to the citizenry. This he said would help the citizenry understand the policies and sectors under the Big Four and thus know which part to play in ensuring the success of the 4 priority agenda items of the government.

Noting that many young people do not have adequate resources to undertake their project ideas, the forum resolved to petition the Governments to consider revising the fees required for one to access procurement opportunities.

The Legislative Summit, is a forum where the Senate (as the patron and protector of County Governments) and the County Assemblies meet to review the progress made in entrenching devolution and for purposes of capacity enhancement for their respective legislators. The official program for the 3rd Legislative Summit kicks off on Tuesday 22nd May 2018, during the official opening ceremony by H.E Hon. William Ruto, the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya. This year’s event is being held at Pride Inn Paradise Resort, Mombasa County.

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