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APDK demands action on tenders 

National chairman Association of People with Disabilities in Kenya (APDK) Fred Owako addressing the media during celebrations to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities held at Kiamaina secondary school in Bahati Sub County. Photo by Dennis Rasto/KNA

Association of People with Disabilities in Kenya (APDK) is demanding action against political elites and shrewd businessmen who have been receiving millions of shillings through an affirmative action policy that had been enacted to allow women, youth and the disabled easy access to government tenders.
The association’s national chairperson Fred Owako said that well-connected individuals had registered thousands of companies that were being awarded government contracts and tenders that were slated for the marginalized.
Speaking during celebrations to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at Kiamaina Secondary School in Bahati Sub County in Nakuru, Owako noted that the cartels had also infiltrated all the country’s 47 devolved units and were being awarded tenders strictly outlined for women, youth and the disabled.
“These criminal elements are well known and facilitated to benefit from government’s affirmative action. Some of these individuals own up to 20 companies that differently bid for similar contracts and tenders.
Majority of marginalized persons miss out on tenders that would empower them economically because they are not well connected” said the Chairman.
Owako further lamented that most devolved units had ignored the disabled while appointing County Executive Committee members and top management officers.
He called on members of parliament to ensure that affirmative action policy is adhered to in award of tenders at both National and County government level.
The occasion was attended by Deputy Governor Dr Erick Korir, County Executive for Women, Youth, Culture, Gender, Sports and Social Services Halima Gababa Abdulahi and Bahati Member of Parliament Kimani Ngunjiri.
County Coordinator Social and Gender Developmentt Agnes Oriri said the government was committed to its affirmative policy and was not discriminating against the disabled.
“Our constitution resonates with the goals of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The government will continue to promote equality and participation for People with Disabilities (PWD) in all development processes” said Ms Oriri
Owako rapped other county members of parliament and elected leaders for snubbing the event, saying that issues afflicting disabled persons had not been treated seriously by parliamentarians. He called for a review of laws to ensure that persons with disabilities were actively involved in vetting persons recommended to hold various constitutional offices.
He faulted the county government of Nakuru for failing to conduct a baseline survey on people living with disabilities in the region.
By Anne Mwale

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