The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has assured Persons With Disability (PWDs) of its commitment in ensuring inclusivity in electoral process.

Speaking during a stakeholders forum with Persons With Disability under the theme of enhancing voter participation and inclusion for a ‘stronger democracy’ at KICD, IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said the Constitution had laid a solid foundation for political participation and representation of Persons With Disabilities.

He said the Constitution in furtherance of its pursuit to secure and guarantee the rights of PWDs, obligated Parliament to enact legislation to promote representation of marginalised groups that include Persons With Disability.

“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 the IEBC Chair.

The Thursday forum sought to discuss ways of expanding the participation of PWDs in the electoral processes and mapping out areas of collaboration and institutional commitments between the Disabled Persons organizations (DPOs) and the electoral body.

Chebukati said the forum with PWDs held the key for IEBC to engage, collaborate and find ways of increasing participation of PWDs in the electoral process.

IEBC Chair also said the Commission was collaborating with other organizations and institutions to provide Information, Education and Communications materials in braille and sign language videos for the visual and hearing impairment respectively.

On voter registration for PWDs, IEBC said that it had put in place measures to facilitate access to registration, voter information and polling by conducting voter registration in premises that can be easily accessed by PWDs.

The Commission will also identify PWDs during voter registration for purposes of planning for their requirements to vote

IEBC is also in the process of acquiring polling booths that can be accessed by persons who are physically challenged to ensure secrecy of the vote and convenience during marking of ballot papers by voters.

Evans Misati, Chairperson of Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC) National Steering Committee urged PWDs to register as members of political parties to claim their rightful share in national representation.

Anne Nderitu, the Registrar of Political Parties, challenged PWDs to mobilize their members to register as voters & be active participants in political parties.

She noted that 96 per cent of political parties have complied with law to have PWDs in their structures.

By Fred Azelwa.