Thursday, April 17, 2014

BEWARE - The disabled of Mombasa County!!!

Why is it that the County of Mombasa is so insensitive to the plight of people with various disabilities - visible and invisible (to the general public)? By invisible I mean for  example that a person could be sight impaired or hearing impaired but these disabilities are not necessarily immediately apparent to the public till they interact with them. And these are just two examples for there are many disabilities which are invisible.

Mombasa County officials are not only insensitive towards the disabled but are also totally IGNORANT.

In fact, I would suggest that with their welcome sign at the beginning of the County, they should add that this place is ONLY for the totally FIT and ABLE-bodied and woe betide anybody who happens to be otherwise. They will not be tolerated or understood!

Let me explain what happened to a tuk tuk and it's driver and the organization that hires it, further.

On the 12th of February 2014, the Dear Diary Initiative (DDI), office got a call from Coast General Hospital asking them to help in transporting a disabled and sick patient home. Since DDI is a charity outfit and is specifically for the disabled and underprivileged members of society, they sent the tuk tuk to Coast General to pick up this patient. The tuk tuk also has a clearly visible to all sign on it's windshield of the disabled. So the driver went as close to the entrance as possible to pick this person up. But just as he reached the entrance a Council askari descended on him and very rudely got in and started shouting at the driver to move and that he was under arrest.

The driver kept trying to explain to him that he was there to pick up a disabled and sick patient and also  there was no other traffic around that he was hindering, either. But this askari refused to listen, look or think about what he was being told. Why?

If the driver had tried to find a parking (and he wasn't even parked at the entrance), how would a disabled person get to him?

Anyway, he was unceremoniously dragged to the Council where he was locked up and the tuk tuk impounded. Nobody was listening to anything that this driver was saying. The tuk tuk's reg. No. is KTWA 677E and the driver's name Kumbe Kalama.

One of the DDI employees, who is also disabled, went to the Council to sort things out with them, but, it got her nowhere as NOBODY there was ready to listen including the magistrate.

Now, what is this 'court' and magistrate for if the accused are not allowed to defend themselves and like kangaroo courts of yester year, passes questionable 'judgements'. Is this justice?

Can our Judiciary please look into this?

At the Court, he was fined 11,000/- before the vehicle was released. The receipt No. is 0783350 and the case number is M532/2014.

Subsequent visits and a letter dated 14th February 2014, have gone unanswered and now over 2 months later, the money is still being withheld for wrongful arrest.

So, all the disabled of this County - BEWARE!!!!

We are dealing with extremely semi- and illiterate and insensitive people in the County of Mombasa. Take care how you go about your business whatever it might be and best wishes.

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