By Robert Tapfumaneyi
KENYAN President Uhuru Kenyatta has granted members of the Shona community citizenship who migrated and settled in the East African country from Zimbabwe in the 1930s.
According to Kenyan reports, some 1 670 Shonas were granted nationality Friday.
“Your Excellency the President of Kenya, since 1930, various groups of citizens who were not originally from our country moved and migrated into Kenya. Some of those include the Shona from Zimbabwe and some communities Rwanda,” Inter CS Fred Matiang’i said this during the Jamuhuri Day Celebrations Friday, at Nyayo Stadium.
“Further to you instructions your Excellency Kenyatta and pursuant to all positions of the relevant law we are according citizenship to 1 670 members of the Shona Community and 1 300 members of various Rwandese communities descendants of those living in our country since the 1930s and 1950s.”
Information from Kenya said 20 members at the celebrations represented the Shona community.
Last year, the Kenyatta led government pledged to recognise the Shona community and giving their children some birth certificates.
In Kenya, information says there are more than 18 000 stateless persons from various communities that include the Shona. Pemba persons of Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Malawi and Zambian descents.
The more than 3 000 strong stateless Shona community has been in Kenya for more than 50 years many of them born and raised there, but they were not recognised as Kenyan nationals and had no official status in Zimbabwe from where they arrived in the 1960s.
The United Nations Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) had been pushing for the recognition of the groups who migrated to Kenya decades ago.