The deputy president of Kenya, William Ruto has promised to include more persons with disability in his government should he clinch power.
Addressing a meeting he held with PWDs in Nairobi yesterday, Ruto said his government will work with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to ensure the group’s interests are catered for.
The group has consistently protested discriminatory policies and government programmes that alienate them, including being denied leadership positions.
“After meeting and hearing all of you today, I am actually going to meet our secretary general and amend the nomination list. I have met great minds today,” he said.
Dr Ruto pledged that his administration will embrace all forms of disability and implement measures to ensure that the group accesses opportunities to equally contributes to development of the country.
“We will train among others our health officials so as to avoid stigmatisation when dealing with PWDs,” he stated.
Ruto said Kenya Kwanza would soon sign a charter to ensure that they are accountable for their promises.
He further pledged that the Kenya Kwanza manifesto, to be launched on Thursday next week, will be disability friendly.
“Our manifesto will be an end product of what Kenyans want not something deliberated by professors in a board room with various books. We want to work towards our charter hence we will review what we have done per year so that we see what we will have accomplished in the different charters.”
Kenya Kwanza plans to ensure the passage and implementation of the Persons Living With Disability Bill that was left in abeyance by the 12th Parliament. “Within two years every county assembly will pass that Bill,” Ruto said.
Ruto further pledged that Kenya Kwanza government will economically empower the group through the Sh50 billion Hustler Fund which aims to advance loans to small businesses without interest.
He promised to ensure access to government procurement opportunities by PWDs owned enterprises which will automatically qualify for the local purchase order (LPO) financing through the fund without any conditions.
This the DP said will enable PWDs to access various business opportunities to boost the economy.
“To actualise the opportunity for you to do business, the Hustler Fund will be there for you,” he said.
“We will be deliberate on access of jobs for you. We will deal with private sector to know what we can do so that you are hired,” he said.
Dr Ruto promised to offer free business permits to PWDs for the first year of business. He said in the affordable housing project at least five per cent of the houses will be reserved for the group.
PWDs will also benefit from markets that Kenya Kwanza will build in the city.
On education, the DP said besides increasing the number of special institutions, Kenya Kwanza government will also fight for inclusivity.
On albinism support programme, Ruto said his government will set aside Sh300 million for provision of sunscreen.