Give us finance portfolio, people living with disability tell Lenku

After the Kajiado governor was sworn in for a second and final term today, he is expected to announce his new County Cabinet members and other senior appointments in the coming days.

People living with disability in Kajiado County have come together to lobby the county government to appoint at least one person from their ranks to serve as a county executive committee member in the new government to be announced by Governor Joseph ole Lenku.

The governor, who vied on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket, survived an onslaught spearheaded by former governor Dr David Nkedianye on a Jubilee Party candidature and Katoo ole Metito of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

Lenku was sworn in for a second and final term as governor today. He is also expected to announce his new County Cabinet members and other senior appointments in the coming days.

Disability Summit

Under the umbrella of the Kajiado County Disability Summit, people living with disability in Kajiado have singled out the finance portfolio as their preferred position, saying this will influence the allocation of sufficient resources to cater for their needs. The Summit is a caucus bringing together all the players involved in matters to do with people living with disability in Kajiado County. The lobby has also identified former Nominated MCA Samson ole Tipape as their preferred candidate for the position.

“In Lenku’s first administration, we had nobody to speak for us at the apex Cabinet level. As a result, many of our interests have not been catered for. We are calling upon the governor to involve us fully,” said Simon Sankau from Kajiado South. “Special needs require special attention.”

Tipape, who served as a Nominated MCA representing persons living with disability between 2013 and 2017, currently works as Director of Human Capital Management at the National Police Service Commission, where he is on secondment from the Kajiado County Public Service Board. He joined the Board during Lenku’s first stint as governor, serving as Director of Human Resources and Administration and later as CEO of the outfit.

His main expertise is in the area of human resource management. After he obtained a senior management course and strategic leadership at the Kenya School of Government, Tipape began his career as a human resource management officer at the Kenya Utalii College.  He then joined the National Council for People with Disability as the head of human resources, before being nominated to serve as an MCA.

Tested and proven

“The law requires that 5 per cent of all elective and appointive positions be reserved for persons with disability. We want someone who can effectively represent us at the county level, and Tipape fits  that bill,” said Ezekiel Njuguna from Kajiado North. “He has been tested and proven.”

That endorsement is largely the result of Tipape’s work during his tenure as an MCA, when he actively lobbied for various measures in favour of people living with disability. These include the formation of a Disability Mainstreaming Committee by the Kajiado County Assembly, responsible for engaging the County Executive on matters to do with people living with disability in the county. He also formulated the Disability Mainstreaming Regulations, which culminated in a fund to which the county administration channelled Ksh10 million for helping people living with disability in the county.

In addition, towards the end of his tenure as MCA, Tipape was responsible for the drafting of a Disability Mainstreaming Bill at the County Assembly; unfortunately, following his exit, the Bill was abandoned thereafter and has never been enacted. Using the Disability Fund, scores of students living with disability have also benefitted from bursaries.

“We had two MCAs in the County Assembly over the past five years, but they have done nothing to actualize the Disability Bill. Tipape can do a lot more for us than many of the other leaders and that is why we are lobbying for his appointment as a County Executive Committee Member,” said Gideon Saidimu from Kajiado West.

Tipape, who hails from Lenkisim area of Kajiado South constituency, holds a Master of Science degree in Leadership and Governance from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology. He also possesses a Bachelor of Business Management degree majoring in human resources from Moi University in Eldoret. Other qualifications include a Higher National Diploma in Human Resource Management and a Diploma in Personnel Management, both from the Technical University of Kenya.

Public campaigns

The alumnus of Oloolaiser High School is a full member of the Institute of Human Resource Management (IHRM), the main professional organization for human resource professionals in Kenya. He also serves in the institute’s Public Policy, Advocacy and Lobbying Committee.

Data on persons living with disability in Kajiado County is difficult to obtain due to the lack of empirical studies and stigma by close relatives and the society. However, following various information and awareness campaigns, the voices of people living with disability are increasingly being heard at various levels.

Issues raised by lobbyists that call for priority handling by the county administration include the enactment of the pending Disability Act that will provide a framework for further action; greater allocation of funds for the Disability Fund; and to ensure that the county and other organizations adhere to the 5 per cent employment quota for persons living with disabilities.

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Kajiado Star Editor