Voting by a physically challenged young man earns him fame

During the repeat of presidential polls, a 21-year-old physically challenged man was among the first people to cast their votes at Social Hall polling centre in Murang’a town.

John Gichuhi Macharia who was born without both hands shocked voters when he cast his vote using his legs with help from poll clerks.

Gichuhi who hails from Kambirwa village near Murang’a town arrived at the polling centre few minutes to 6.00 am to exercise his constitutional right.

Gichuhi who lives in Weitethie shopping centre near Thika town woke up at 4.00 am to travel to Murang’a where he is registered as a voter.

I had to wake up early and also had requested my pastor to facilitate me with fare to reach Murang’a so that I could vote, said the young man.

His photo while voting went viral attracting the attention of President Uhuru Kenyatta who sent a delegation to visit the young man.

On October 30, a team led by Murang’a County Commissioner, John Elung’ata visited Gichuhi and informed him that the president is willing to support him.

The following day on October 31, Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary, James Macharia also visited Gichuhi and assured him the President is looking for ways to support him.

Gichuhi who trained on Information Technology (IT) after secondary education has been yearning to invest in a beauty shop but has been unable to raise capital.

Currently I rely on well-wishers who buy for me food and pay my rent. My church under Pastor Cornelius Mutiso has also been of big support in my life, narrated Gichuhi when KNA visited him.

He said he lives with a friend Wambua Maina who helps him in cooking among other house chores.

His father he said remarried after the death of their mother who left him and his sister at a tender age.

I decided to move out after realizing I could not cope with my father’s wife but I do communicate with him occasionally, he added.

At Weitethie area, the young man who does most of his work using his legs said he has received some help from his church and neighbours in the past four years.

It’s my wish the promise by the president will materialize soon because I want to venture into incoming generating projects since I don’t like borrowing or depending on other people, notes Gichuhi.

He continued, The cabinet secretary has promised me that the president is ready to help me so long as I identify which areas I want to be helped.

In the past, the young man recalls; politicians have offered to support him but none of them has fulfilled the promise.

His church minister says every Sunday the congregation contribute money to enable him to buy food.

The pastor, who administers at Rescue Mission Centre at Malaba area in Witeithie town, says Gichuhi is a staunch Christian and loathes begging like the majority of physically challenged people.

He has been a well-disciplined young man and despite our church being a small one we usually give the little we can afford to enable him to get food, said Mutiso.

Mutiso said they will be happy if Gichuhi gets permanent help to enable him to live a better life.

Source: Kenya News Agency