NEW CITIZENS: Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa hands over a birth certificate to a Shona member while Kinoo MCA Samuel Kimani looks on on Thursday, August 1
Over 4000 Shonas in Kenya issued with Kenyan birth certificates
They have been unable do simple things like buy a mobile line that requires ID.Community arrived in Kenya from Zimbabwe between 1959 and 1960 to preach.
At least 4 000 members of the Shona community originating from Zimbabwe, but living in Kenya over the past 60 years, were last week issued with birth certificates after being denied access to basic rights including education in the east African country. In 2016, the United Nations Human Right Council (UNHRC), the Kenya Human Rights and the local leadership in Kenya, launched a campaign to end the statelessness of this marginalised community. Since 1961, when their forefathers originated from Zimbabwe, the Shona community has lived in Kenya without legal documents as authorities denied them basic rights including education while some were repeatedly arrested. Last Thursday, the Kenyan government issued the Shona parents and their children with birth certificates at a ceremony that was also attended by MPs from Zimbabwe. “What does this mean, getting a birth certificate? For the first time in your life you get a document that has your name. This is big,” UNHCR representative, Wanja Munaita said at a ceremony where the birth certificates were issued to the Shonas. “I cannot even be able to quantify. As a human being, you should be recognised by your name. These children have lived here, were born here, they were not able to be recognised as who they were born. So, this is big,” added Munaita. However, although the community still does not have identity cards to be legally Kenyans, they welcomed the new development. Due to lack of the birth certificates, the children were forced to drop out of school while most parents were forced to work as labourers earning very low wages. – newzimbabwe.com