The Kenya Deaf Community (KDC) has asked Parliament to recommend its members for appointment in public office, citing discrimination in employment.
In their petition to the National Assembly’s Labour and Social Welfare committee, the KDC claims no deaf person has been appointed to significant position in the public service since promulgation of the Constitution in 2010.
This, they said, goes against the spirit of the Constitution which requires that the State ensures at least five per cent of the members of the public in elective and appointive bodies are persons with disabilities.
“Your humble petitioners pray that the committee … considers urgently the plight of the deaf or hard of hearing persons with a view of recommending their nomination to various position in public office,” they said in the petition presented by Majority Leader in the National Assembly, Aden Duale.
The KCD claims that since promulgation of the Constitution in August 2010, qualified deaf persons have been sidelined in appointment such as Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary, Ambassador, Commissioner, director or any other significant position in the public service.
The petitioners’ claim the discrimination goes beyond the national level, affecting its members at the county level.
“During the 2017 election cycle, 25 out of the 47 county assemblies did not comply with the Constitution that requires them to nominate two disabled persons,” they said.
The 1999 census put the population of disabled people in Kenya at 1.3 million or 3.5 per cent of the population.
A Public Service Commission survey of 2015 established that less than one per cent of those employed in the civil service are disabled.