PWD’s want more to be done to accommodate them during the August elections

A file photo of voters queuing to vote at Timbwani baptist primary school polling station in Likoni./FILE

Coastal civil societies for human rights have questioned the preparedness of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) over consideration of persons living with disabilities (PWD’s) in the voting processes during the August general elections.

Charity Chahasi an officer at Tunaweza, a Non-Governmental Organization dealing with PWD’s said that they have observed that IEBC has not been fully prepared to help people with disability exercise their democratic right.

Chahasi, who is also a person living with disability, claims some polling stations are not easily accessible for PWD’s.

“In some of the polling stations, one must use stairs which are very difficult for them to access,” said Chahasi.

Chahasi urged the IEBC to use the electronic system so that people who use braille can cast their vote.

Her sentiments were echoed by Muslim for Human Rights organization (MUHURI) Rapid Response Officer Francis Auma, who cast doubt on turn out of PWD’s during the August 9th election.

Their concerns come even as IEBC promised to promised to procure special polling booths for PWDs.

While engaging with members of the National Council for Persons With Disabilities (NCPWD) in Nairobi in October last year, IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati said the Commission will procure special polling booths accessible by PWDs to ensure secrecy of their votes and convenience during marking of ballot papers.

“Our Constitution has laid a solid foundation for political participation and representation of Persons With Disabilities. However, we must remain alive to the fact that a lot more remains to be done in this quest for greater inclusivity for persons with disabilities,” said Chebukati during his engagement with PWDs last year.