PRESS STATEMENT BY PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES CONCERNING ATTACKS BY JUNET MOHAMMED ON SEN ISAAC MWAURA ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY
WE Persons With Disabilities drawn from various organizations within the 47 counties of Kenya
AWARE of the many years of neglect, abuse torture and discrimination against us,
COGNIZANT of the negative attitudes and derogatory manner in which we have been referred to for a long time,
APPRECIATIVE of the fact those persons who hold high political office have a great influence in our society,
INFORMED by the provisions of Article 27, 54, 81, 90, 97, 98, 100, and 177 of the constitution on the need to fight discrimination, equal opportunity and fair treatment of all persons with disabilities of various categories and types,
Do hereby wish to state as follows:
THAT we wish to condemn in the strongest of terms the remarks by Junet Mohammed that Sen Isaac Mwaura bleached his skin in order to be nominated to parliament. This is not only an affront to the person and character of the distinguished senator as our representative, but it is also an abuse on the dignity of all of us collectively.
An abuse to one of us on the basis of disability is an abuse to all of us.
THAT persons with albinism are human beings who are created in the image and likeness of GOD and therefore deserve respect, honor and dignity just like any other Kenyan. To insinuate that Sen Mwaura bleached his skin in order to get nominated to parliament is not only discrimination on the basis of color and disability, but also is to incite members of the public against them especially little innocent in school who have to endure a lot of ridicule from peers and members of the community. We want to know what ritual did Junet do to get to parliament? Which gods did he appease and at what cost?
THAT it is due to statements and beliefs such as those issued by Junet that many people have been made to believe that the body parts of persons with albinism can make someone rich, thus leading to the loss of lives of many of our brothers and sisters in Kenya and many other African countries.
We therefore wish to state as follows:
That Junet Mohammed should immediately withdraw and apologies for his rather unfortunate, demeaning and derogatory remarks towards our leader Sen Isaac Mwaura if at all he deserves the title of an honorable member of parliament.
That we shall institute an official complaint to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) against Junet for contravening articles 27, 54 and 81 of the constitution, and the provisions of the persons with disabilities act, and any other relevant laws.
That we call upon the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), National Gender & Equality Commission (NGEC) and other human rights bodies to join add their voice to this heinous act.
That Junet should desist forthwith from issuing any further utterances that shall be construed to demean, defame and misrepresent persons with albinism and indeed any other disability in his public pronouncements.
That Nomination slots are not favors dished out by political parties but rather we fought for these slots in the constitution as an affirmative action in order to overcome the barriers associated with the election of persons with disabilities into parliament due to persistent stigma and discrimination. We too have a right to be elected just like any other person and urge Kenyans to elect as many persons with disabilities in the next elections as a means of ensuring that such discrimination and sense of entitlement is done away with.
That political parties are only custodians of the nomination slots since they are the vehicles through with power is acquired through legal means. Our representation isn’t an act of tokenism and favor but a fundamental right as provided for in articles 81, 97, 98, 100 and 177 of the constitution. We also take note of the discriminatory manner in which the Jubilee party wants to expel our distinguished senator to serve as an ‘example’ to others on spurious charges.
That Sen Mwaura has been not only our voice and face in parliament and our country’s politics, but has stood out as one of the best legislators in this country and beyond. Currently, he has sponsored the highest number of bills in the senate and has been awarded severally for this exemplary work.
That we stand strongly and solidly behind our leader Isaac Mwaura who deserves to be accorded the respect and dignity that he deserves just like any other leader.
We are deeply concerned that Junet’s outbursts come on the heels of the merciless killing of our brother Christopher Nderitu Gachari, a wheelchair user who was knocked down and smashed by 3 GK vehicles of VVIPs, yet the police are covering up the real identities of these power men. This leaves us to wonder if we persons with disabilities are children of a lesser GOD.
Finally, we wish tell Junet that he may have a constituency with geographical boundaries of Suna, but Sen Mwaura’s constituency is vastly spread across the hearts and minds of the over 5 million persons with disabilities, their families and allies that he represents. We should be engaged not by the color of our skin, our walking style or way of communication, but by the strength of our character and what we stand for on an equal basis with others.
We too are Kenyans.
Signed 7th February 2021