Deputy President William Ruto has called for equal participation of people with disabilities in the country.
He said it was time the country appreciated them equally as other human beings, and accorded them the attention they deserve.
In particular, Dr Ruto said the country should be non-discriminatory in the award of businesses to the people with disabilities.
“We should not award them light tenders on the basis of their physical ability. If they can deliver on road construction and other heavy projects, let them be given the chance and no doubt, they will deliver,” he said.
Dr Ruto spoke today in his Karen residence in Nairobi County where he held a meeting with hundreds of leaders of the people with disabilities across the country.
“We are supporting and promoting the basic rights for persons with disabilities, safeguarding and scaling up their opportunities in equal participation in our country,” he said.
Leaders present during the meeting were MPs David Ole Sankok (nominated), Janet Teiyaa (Woman Rep, Kajiado), Janet Nangabo (Woman Rep, T/Nzoia), Faith Gitau (Woman Rep, Nyandarua), John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Wangui Ngirici (Woman Rep, Kirinyaga) and Rindikiri Mugambi (Buuri).
Others were MPs Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Florence Bore (Woman Rep, Kericho), Beatrice Kones (Bomet East), Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West), Gideon Keter (nominated), Caleb Kositany (Soy) and Gladys Shollei (Woman Rep, Uasin Gishu).
Dr Ruto said a deliberate effort to involve the people living with disabilities would lessen their degrees of vulnerability and advance their inclusion and empowerment.
“It is time we stopped treating these people as beggars. They have their abilities, hence they should also be give an opportunity to lead us,” added the Deputy President.
Dr Ruto regretted the ill treatment of people with disabilities in the sports arena, saying it was wrong to delay the processing of their payments.
“They do fly our flag high up in the world. I apologise on behalf of the government for any mistreatments that our sportsmen have gone through in the past.”
He said the government was in the process of filling such gaps to further “the equal treatment of all our sportsmen”.
On his part, Ole Sankok asked the County Governments to offer employment opportunities to the people with disabilities.
The nominated legislator pointed out that the recent recruitment of Kazi Mtaani had left out people with disabilities.
“We are learned and do not need sympathies but opportunities to make us exploit our talents,” he explained