Why PWDs protested the swearing-in of Nairobi MCAs
A group of persons living with disability (PWDs) on Thursday caused commotion outside Nairobi City County Assembly as Members of County Assembly (MCAs) were being sworn-in.
The protesters claimed they have been side-lined in the nomination exercise. They camped in front of the County Assembly gate, blocking people from accessing the premises. In the process, they blocked journalists from accessing the County Assembly.
Led by Rodgers Omwoyo, the PWDs claimed they had been shortchanged in during the nomination exercise.
“The nomination process overlooked the inclusion and representation of persons with disabilities (PWDs). We are being alienated,” Omwoyo said.
“We forwarded the name of the person who wanted to represent us but we don’t understand what happened. There is a man of Asian descent who has been given that slot. All we want is equal representation in the assembly,” he added.
Mr Omwoyo said that the make-up of the County Assembly broadly lacked a representative of PWDs.
He appealed to Nairobi County Governor Johnson Sakaja and President William Ruto to come to intervene and nominate at least one of them.
He also appealed to the Speaker of the National Assembly to ensure there is a constitutional number of members of marginalized groups, including persons living with disabilities and the youth as prescribed by the Act of Parliament.
Nevertheless, the swearing-in ceremony went on smoothly during the morning session, followed by the election of the County Assembly Speaker in the afternoon.
In a hotly contested exercise, Ken Ngondi of Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition beat Hassan Robow Mohammed of Kenya Kwanza Alliance to become the new Speaker.
In the first round of voting, Mr Ngondi garnered 71 votes against Hassan Robow Mohammed’s 52 votes. With neither candidate attaining the two-thirds threshold of 81 votes, as required by the standing orders for an outright win, the Assembly Clerk Edward Gichana called for a second round of voting where a candidate with a simple majority is declared the winner.
Mr Ngondi then went on to win the second round with 68 votes while Mr Mohammed garnered 55 votes. The latter was being fronted by Members of County Assembly aligned to Kenya Kwanza Alliance.