He meant no harm: ODM Disability League defends Junet

Junet Mohammed and Isaac Mwaura [Courtesy]

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Disability League on Wednesday jumped to the defense of Suna East MP Junet Mohammed who claimed that Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura ‘bleached’ his skin to represent People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) in parliament.

Through a statement signed by ODM Disability League president Nikson Kakiri, the group noted that Junet’s sentiments were not targeted at PWDs but at Mwaura as a person.

“Junet’s comment was purely an individual against an individual without targeting a group of people or community as being potrayed.

“It is important to note that in a political context the comment was attributed to the fact that the target instigated violence which brought a security threat to PWDs’ political participation,” read the statement in part.

Further, Kakiri clarified that the Disability League strongly condemns violence and hate speech remarks directed at PWDs.

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“Persons with Disabilities should be careful with those who want to whip their emotions to gain sympathy by misleading information…change starts with us.

“We know ‘Muthungu wa Ruiru’ normalizes insensitivity in a political sense and we should not be crying foul when it starts with us,” said Kakiri.

Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Last week, PWDs condemned Junet’s remarks saying persons with albinism should be treated with dignity like any other Kenyan.

In a statement to the newsrooms, the lobby group termed the remarks discriminatory and said attacks on the basis of disability were attacks on all persons with disabilities.

“Persons with albinism are human beings who are created in the image and likeness of God and therefore deserve respect, honor and dignity just like any other Kenyan,” they said.

The group called upon the MP to withdraw the remarks and apologise to the nominated senator who is also facing disciplinary action by the Jubilee Party.

Junet later took to social media to express remorse over the remarks saying they were not directed at people with albinism but specifically at Senator Mwaura.

“I want to apologize to people born with albinism. My comments in no way reflect my opinions of them as upstanding citizens of our county. My comments were directed at the rotten character of Isaac Mwaura who exploits his disability for personal gain and incitement of violence,” he wrote.

ODM Disability League President Nikson Kakiri (centre) and Bella Kisiang’ani addressing the media at Chungwa House in Nairobi ( PHOTO: Boniface Okendo)

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