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Controversial Politician and Assistant Minister for Information and Communication, who is also chairman (FOUNDER MEMBER) of a New political Party called Chama cha Mwananchi (CCM) hosted a group of person with disabilities and pushed for the disability Agenda.

 First it was interesting the political juxtaposing that he took parting ways with the so-called rulling party NARC-Kenya (which some call the rulling party and that observers believe President Kibaki supports, though he was elected under the original NARC that divorced after parting ways with Raila Odinga Led LDP). Kenyan Political party confusions aside, Mr. Koigi formerly a fugitive in the Norway after running to exile from the political horns with the Kanu dictatorship has had a cold-warm relationship with Presdient Kibaki.

He is among the “young” politicians who have felt left out by the old gaurds surrounding the president. His history with issues outside political hawking is scanty and therefore an unreliable measure if we are to measure his latest political move.

 The MP for Subukia a metropolitan constituency somewhere in Nakuru district with two major tribes of Kikuyu and Kalenjin, came into parliament as a beneficiary of the ALL is Possible-without-MOI political wave of 2002 that also brought Kibaki to Power.

Significant political step for PWDs. The politican however will be credited as being the first politican or political party that has took up the disability agenda in the current political foreplay in readiness for the general elections later in the year.

VOTE FOR Chama Cha Mwananchi Kudos to him and hoping that paradventure this would be a first in followed by other mainstream political groups like NARC-Kenya and ODM-Kenya. The Bomas draft and the other constitutional debate has set the agenda for engagement of various groups on issues that need to be part and parcel of politcal intercourse irrespective of the coalition that forms government.

Many political strategists in the Kenyan political coalitions have not come up with a specific lists of policies they would use to woo the voters with disabilities. There are quite a number who still believe that they dont vote anyway. Others think Voters w/disabilities do not form a significant political block worth their war chest allocations.

Yet other still view the community from the bowl in hand physically helpless face you would see in the streets of Nairobi. Koigi may be a political minniow compared with the “powerful” political heavyweights horses of ODM-kenya and Narc-Kenya or the donkeys of FORD-kenya and Charity’s Narc or is it NPK.

But for this one he will go down in History as the first politician who politicised the disability agenda in campaign politics. Unique political rally Someone may see mischief in this article.

Someone may claim that the Youth Affairs Minister machinations with the deaf community is reported recently in disabilitykenya as having held what could be seen as a the development politics of the Party in Power with the sharing of the billion shilling youth fund.

Others may say that the First Lady and her big heart for disability is a political move. That to me would not be compared with the political act that Koigi did. The disability community has not been looked at as a voting block until Koigi convened his meeting. His was actually a political rally targeting specifically the disability community.

This we find unique. He may not have had much goodies to distribute around, after all the other assistant Minister and fellow political spannerboy of Kibaki’s administration Garsen MP Danson Mungatana has been quoted to call Koigi’s Political Party “the party of the Poor”.

But given the need for more representation in political advocasy the involves disability community, who else (maybe even in Africa) has had a political rally of voters with disability only? Which party will push the disability agenda So when the chairperson of the party of the poor stood up and said that the government should or could allocate a portion of its national revenue say 2% to making adjustments that are disability-friendly i felt a tilt of joy.

That only KBC saw the importance of the news clip is telling of the others including KTN and NTV who claim to push the rights of the disability community. I felt a tilt of joy when in the environment of the meeting a KBC reporter saw the need to collect opinion of one of the participants and blow it as part of the reporting for the political event.

The man with disabilities had a simple message “we the voters with disabilites are also ready to cast our vote with reason in view of the benefits that will acrue to us”. The man was quoted as saying that we people with disabilties can work also. we want a share of the growing economy to trickle down in terms of jobs and credit for business.

We can work and are ready to work and will work given an opportunity. We will support someone or a political party that will give us what we need to achieve these needs. What more would i say but wait with bated breathe to see how many other political groups will identify politicies that support some form of disability agenda!

How many of the presidential manifestoes will have something on improving disability-friendliness of this country? How many political groups will empower disabled persons as representatives in their political groups? We are watching…. disabilitykenya.org


About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.


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