Junet insult against the disabled was unpleasant

Thursday, February 11th, 2021 00:00 |
Former nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura when he appeared before the Jubilee Disciplinary Committee at the party headquarters in Nairobi. PD/Kenna Claude

I am a person who keeps my word, especially in situations which involve pursuing futile endeavours.

I had kept my promise not to write about our deranged Kenyan politics for a year now, until last week when an insult against a hapless human being by a politician jolted me from my reverie.

I felt like someone had pushed a dagger right through my guts!  The disparaging remarks touching on disability by Suna East MP Junet Mohamed were totally unexpected. 

In the ongoing nonsense pitting the so-called Tanga Tanga and Kieleweke camps regarding the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), Junet termed the albinism of his nominated counterpart Isaac Mwaura as a whitewash aimed at gaining undeserved opportunities.  

Really? Who in their right mind would say something so callous about a person who, out of no fault of their own, is incapacitated due to one reason or another, something that affects his ability to be equally competitive with other human beings? 

It reminded me of my days in early childhood when we, out of utter innocence, would tease each other using any physical deficiencies.

Junet’s utterance was an insult to all parents, relatives and friends of People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs), who make sacrifices every day to ensure that those under their care get the best life, regardless!

I have an 11-year-old son living with autism. For the sake of the likes of Junet who believe disability is a curse, let me inform him that my son is the best gift from God.

Although as his parents we have gone through hell in managing his condition, he has saved the souls of our family.

Over the years, I have interacted with PLWDs and their caregivers, and have witnessed first hand this kind of world.

Even though it can be spiritually fulfilling and enriching, disability is not something one should wish on another, or trivialise it no matter the bile one has against an adversary. 

Never mind the MP uttered the insults during a meeting supposed to promote a message of mending our broken socio-economic fences through his master’s BBI.

I pray that Junet never becomes a permanent invalid either through sickness or accident. 

I pray he does not have the ‘misfortune’ of siring a disabled child – he is the type that can kill or abandon it.

I pray he will find within his heart, and in the Islamic faith he professes, the need to confess and sincerely seek for atonement. His half-hearted apology through Twitter simply added salt to injury.

Sacrificing politically like-minded nominated MPs simply to get at Mwaura, is as cheap and vengeful as it gets.

In more civilised jurisdictions, Junet is the one who should have bitten the dust by being stripped off all party positions.

He would have been charged in a court of law, using the relevant statutes, and the accruing fine donated by the presiding judge to the National Council for Persons with Disabilities  to help albinos.

But as we say, this is Kenya, where crime and punishment are terms only applicable to those without clout. 


That Kenya today is a deeply damaged society needs no belabouring. It is not the first time a life has been lost in the hands of primitive matatu crew that we all seem to have resigned to.

A family in Murang’a is mourning the death of their daughter who was violently thrown out of a Kirinyaga bound matatu in Juja over the weekend, out of an altercation about fare. 

The unanswered question, like in numerous incidents before, is where these matatu operators get the total confidence to behave with such impunity.

What role does the police play in abetting these incidents? Why are the culprits never jailed for the heinous crimes? How long will this insanity continue on our roads?  — The writer is an international affairs columnist

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