After close to a century in the cold, the Government has finally recognised as citizens members of the Shona community who have been living in Kenya.
The government has accorded citizenship to 1,670 members of the Shona Community and 1,300 members of various Rwandese communities.
“Since 1930s, various groups of communities who are not citizens of our country migrated into our country, some of those include the Shona from Zimbabwe and some communities from Rwanda. Further to your instructions [President Uhuru], we are according citizenship to 1,670 members of the Shona community and 1,300 members of various Rwandese communities,” said Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.
This recognition could not have come at a better time, with Kenya celebrating its 57th Jamhuri Day, celebrations to mark the day when Kenya became a republic on 12 December 1964.
Just after the Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo National Stadium, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued twenty citizens (representatives of the Shona community) with their citizenship papers.
In a ministerial conference on the Eradication of Statelessness in the Great Lakes Region held in Nairobi in April 2019, the Government of Kenya promised to re-establish a task force on statelessness and validate the draft national action plan followed by its implementation with regards foreign communities living in Kenya.
“By 2020, Government of Kenya pledges recognition as citizens and registration of the Shona community who qualify under the law, as well as by 2020,enactment of the Births and Deaths Registration Act that provides safeguards to prevent statelessness,” Chief Administrative Secretary for Labour and Social Protection, Patrick Ole Ntutu had promised.