People with Disabilities (PWDs) in Kisumu County have pleaded with the aspirants to fully incorporate them into their campaigns and political processes.
The group claims that they form an integral part of the society hence their members needed to be fully involved to participate in the ongoing party nominations.
Speaking during the party primaries in Kisumu Central Sub County on Tuesday, Erick Ondijo, the Chairman of PWDs stated that a number of issues have deprived them of exercising their rights in choosing appropriate leaders during the nominations exercise.
Ondijo revealed that the number of PWDs within Kisumu Central is high compared to the turnout in the ongoing nominations.
He singled out the merger of polling stations as a major challenge that contributed to the low voter turnout of the impaired members of the society.
“Merged polling stations have been a major setback since our people are not able to trace and reach some of the stations that are far from their areas of residence,” said Ondijo.
Additionally, he said that sensitization was shallow and it did not reach the majority of the members living in remote areas.
“Some of our leaders are in a hurry campaigning without taking into consideration that generally we are a large group who command an equally higher number of votes hence it is good to be informed intensively,” reiterated Ondijo.
Charged with the mandate to oversee the nomination process in four polling stations within Market Millimani Ward, Ondijo noticed that some of the polling stations are not PWDs’ friendly.
For instance, he stated that some of the voting centres lacked proper facilities like ramps to facilitate quick and comfortable movement, especially for those that largely depended on wheelchairs.
Consequently, he noted that they operate in groups and therefore the leaders could effectively communicate to them through their various representatives in passing such kind of reliable information.
He said that there has been a huge barrier between the politicians and PWDs since there was no proper interaction that leads to a choice of a good leader.
“Our aspirants have not created time to interact with us to know our stand on the whole election process so as to involve our needs in their manifestos,” he added.
Ondijo said that he has been advocating for representation in every political committee in Kisumu Central in order to air their views as well.
Market Millimani ward has had only two PWDs candidates vying for the Member of County Assemblies seat and another eyeing the senatorial position.
He noted that it was unfortunate that some members of the society have not fully recognized that they formed part of the community hence their political ideologies equally count.
He urged the general society to participate in any political responsibilities saying that those are determinants in their entire life.