By Magdalene Mukami
Hundreds of human rights activists, women, young people and people with disabilities (PWDs) on Thursday marched in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to protest Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s new Cabinet nominees.
The protesters called on President Kenyatta to recall the list as it lacked of representatives from PWDs, youths, and women, noting that the youngest nominee was 37 years old and did not belong to the 18-35 age group.
The protesters blocked the busy Uhuru highway in the Kenyan capital, crippling traffic in the Central Business District. They held placards that read, “Women leadership matters” and “We are tired of a government which makes empty promises; women, youth, and the disabled need their share in Kenya”.
Kerigo Odada, one of the organizers of the peaceful march, told Anadolu Agency, “We want the president to recall the list because the list is unconstitutional, and it is not inclusive because we have some significant members of the population missing in it. We don’t feel Kenyatta’s list is a true composition of the diversity in this country.”
Odada noted that some ministers who were not female, young, or disabled tended to totally disregard government projects that could help improve the lives of the affected members of the population.
Jimmy Kimani, a disabled person, for his part said, “How can a person who is not disabled know the trouble we go through every day? We need fairness as we also pay taxes.”
The protest march began from the Uhuru Park in Nairobi and ended at the parliament building, where the protesters submitted to the speaker of the National Assembly a petition outlining their grievances.
The protest was timed to coincide with the vetting of the ministers in Kenyatta’s Cabinet, which kicked off Thursday morning.
All opposition leaders chose to avoid the vetting process, thereby throwing the credibility of the exercise into question.