With the struggles of Kenya and its government to include people with disabilities into mainstream leadership, Albinism Society of Kenya on in Friday, May 21st vehemently excoriated words uttered by Jubilee Vice-Chairman David Murathe on Thursday, May 20th concerning people living with albinism.
Murathe mentioned controversial sentiments seemed to insinuate that Albinism is not a disability while responding to a question posed to him by the host of KTN news programme dubbed “crossfire”.
“I think Sophia, the pigment o somebody’s skin is not a disability. There is nothing that I can do that Mwaura cannot do, there’s nothing that Gachagua can do that Mwaura cannot do…,” said Murathe.
Several months ago, Hon. Junet Mohammed had made similar comments prompted the Albinism Society to think that Mwaura and Mohammed were reading from the same script.
The society since then, had made complaint against Mohammed through the National Cohesion and Integration Commission.
Throughout Mr. Murathe’s statement, Isaac Mwaura seemed to be his constant point of reference since he’s an albino.Mwaura, despite of his disability has been in the public eye especially when he was nominated to the National Assembly in 2013 and in the Senate in 2017.
The sentiments by Murathe sparked mixed emotions amongst members public and above all, prompted the Albinism Society of Kenya to come out and condemn the statements.In a statement released by the society to Media houses as well as public, the society heavily condemned Murathe’s statement as they were potentially decisive and weighty.
“We address you today as Albinism Society of Kenya, a leading Civil society organisation that exists to uphold the dignity, protect the rights of Persons with Albinism in Kenya and beyond….This statement regards the utterances made by Hon. David Murathe on Albinism not beings disability,therebyaking it an official statement of all Persons with Albinism in Kenya who are our members,” read part of the Society’s statement.
Also, the Society recognized Hon. Isaac Mwaura for the tremendous contributions he has made and the achievements in creating a place for persons with Albinism and championing a countrywide compaign.
Ranging from pushing for annual allocation of Ksh. 100 million towards the National Albinism Sunscreen Support Program to advocating for and actualizing the first ever census on Albinism, amongst others are some of the achievements by Isaac Mwaura which were captured in the Society’s statement on Friday.The society also condemned Murathe’s statement that they would revisit the defination of “persons living with disability” in the Kenya’s constitution.
“Infact,we are going to revisit the definition of persons living with disabilities…” Said Murathe.
While issuing the statement, the society also designated the 13 day of every June to mark International Albinism Awareness Day.Locally, the National Council for Persons with Disabilities recognizes Albinism as a category of disability.
Murathe’s statements deviated from legal requirements of the Kenyan constitution as Articles 27(4) and 54(1) prohibits descrimination on the basis of colour or disability and requires all Persons with Disabilities to be addressed in a dignified manner.The civil society also beseeched the media to shun away from offering platforms that would be used to misinform members of the public on issues revolving around disability.