Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohamed has apologized to persons living with albinism over his Saturday remarks against Senator Isaac Mwaura that elicited an angry reaction from a section of Kenyans.
Junet had claimed that the Senator, who is affected by the genetic disorder that causes the skin, hair, or eyes to have little or no colour, bleached his skin to secure ODM and Jubilee nomination slots to represent people with disability in Parliament.
However, in a tweet on Sunday, the vocal ODM lawmaker said his comments did not in any way reflect his opinions of people born with albinism “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, ” said Junet.
I want to apologize to people born with albinism. My comments in no way reflects 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
— Hon. Junet Mohamed, CBS (@JunetMohamed) February 7, 2021
Earlier, an organisation of people living with disabilities had demanded that the lawmaker withdraws the remarks they deemed “derogatory”.
In a press briefing on Sunday, the organisation condemned the remarks saying they amount to an abuse of dignity of persons with disability.
“Junet Mohammed should immediately withdraw and apologies for his rather unfortunate, demeaning and derogatory remarks towards our leader Sen Isaac Mwaura if at all he deserves the title of an honourable member, ” they said.
“…Nomination slots are not favours dished out by political parties but rather we fought for these slots in the constitution as an affirmative action in order to overcome the barriers associated with the election of persons with disabilities into parliament due to persistent stigma and discrimination.
“We too have a right to be elected just like any other person and urge Kenyans to elect as many persons with disabilities in the next elections as a means of ensuring that such discrimination and sense of entitlement is done away with.”
The group threatened to institute an official complaint to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) against the MP for contravening articles 27, 54 and 81 of the Constitution, and the provisions of the persons with disabilities act, and any other relevant laws.
“We call upon the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), National Gender & Equality Commission (NGEC) and other human rights bodies to join add their voice to this heinous act, ” the statement adds.
NCIC had on Saturday tweeted that it is considering the matter with the view of taking appropriate action.
“Such utterances are demeaning to persons living with disability, if left unattended it may trigger division between persons of different colours, ” the commission said in a tweet.