Protesters demand sacking of man in 'disabled' position

PWDs demonstrate in Khwisero Town on Monday, January 9, 2022, over irregular employment in an office set aside for the disabled. [Standard]

A group of disabled people in Khwisero took to the streets to protest the hiring of a man who is not living with a disability to represent them.

Protesters who took their petition to the Khwisero CDF office said, among other things, that Robert Mayenga's employment violated the Constitution and was in bad taste.

Gabriel Shitindo and Annette Omukuba, who spoke on behalf of the constituency's PWDs, said the move violated the constitution and undermined their right to work.

"We were given little time to present a candidate for the position, which we did late last year. Surprisingly, after shortlisting and interviews, the person appointed is not a disabled person, as the position requires. We urge him to resign so that one of us can take his place," Shitindo said.

They said the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) office management, led by area MP Christopher Aseka, had betrayed their trust and that regaining it would be difficult if the employment was not reversed.

During the January 9 protests, the demonstrators, who represent 21 groups and at least 6,000 people, threatened to go to court if the slot was not returned to its rightful owner within 14 days.

However, Khwisero CDF office manager Nicholas Likoye said the protests were unjust because the man's employment, as a retired teacher, was legal.

"Mayenga, who they claim is not disabled, is visibly and even medically disabled because he presented all of the required paperwork to show his disability status and beat everyone else in the interview to represent the PWDs in the Khwisero CDF office," he said.

"The majority of the protesters were once PWD office bearers but lacked even the data of their own members. We are, in fact, streamlining the office so that people with disabilities can get better representation from trusted leaders."

Mayenga, whose appointment to represent the disabled is being challenged, said he was qualified for the position and was eager to serve.

"I retired after working as a teacher for the government. In June 2021, I was in an accident and broke seven ribs, rendering me disabled. I was declared disabled after two months of treatment," he said.

The Standard
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