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KENYA PLEDGES TO REGISTER 4000 Shonas as citizens by 2020.There was joy among the 4000 people of Shona origin living in Kenya after the Government of Kenya pledged to recognise them as citizens and register them by 2020.
The Shona Community of Kenya had launched a bid to attain citizenship after their families have been residing in Kenya for close to 60 years and yet they have remained undocumented and stateless rendering them vulnerable to poverty.
The Government of Kenya through the Chief Administrative Secretary, Patrick Ole Ntutu came bearing good news for the Shona community. By 2019, Kenya will re-establish a task force on statelessness and validate the draft national action plan followed by its implementation.
Ntutu remarked, “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.”
The first batch of 100 Shona community members arrived in Kenya to spread the Gospel and established The Gospel of God Church. They then settled in Nairobi in Central parts of Kenya. The Shona missionaries used British passports to travel since Zimbabwe and Kenya were under The British colony. In 1963 when Kenya gained its Independence the missionaries stayed put although they were no longer documented since there was no provision in the constitution to document them.
In Kenya, it is estimated that there are more than 18,500 stateless persons from various communities that include Shona, Pemba, Persons of Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Malawi and Zambian descent. Children born in Kenya to British Overseas citizens are also stateless due to conflict in nationality laws resulting in the impossibility to be attributed the nationality of their parents at birth or the attribution of the nationality of the country where they are born and where they have their habitual residence. This lack of recognition of any nationality may continue during all their childhood and often remains even after reaching majority. Source – Byo24
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