Gov’t issues 1,649 members of the Shona community with citizenship certificates


Gov't issues 1,649 members of the Shona community with citizenship certificates
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i speaks when he issued citizenship certificates to 1,649 members of the Shona community on July 28, 2021. PHOTO / MOICNG

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i on Wednesday issued citizenship certificates to 1,649 members of the Shona community as part of the national government’s strategy to end statelessness.

CS Matiang’i said stateless people in the country who qualify for Kenyan citizenship will have their status regularized by December this year, before the Jamhuri Day celebrations.

The CS, who spoke at the Windsor Hotel in Kiambu County, said the process will be undertaken without compromising national security, and in line with Human Rights and International Conventions.

“We’ve been working on ending statelessness in our country, and I’m very happy about the progress we’ve made. It takes leadership to get to this point,” he said.

“When our president began his tenure in 2013, he determined that he will end stateless in the country during his term. We are well on our way to completing that job.”

He also revealed that the Directorate of Immigration Services, the National Registration Bureau (NRB), and the Department of Civil Registration will soon confer citizenship on the Sagaf community of Tana River.

According to a statement from Ministry of Interior, over 3,000 people have formally acquired local citizenship since the promulgation of the Constitution.

The ministry added that 1,496 members of the Makonde community living in Kwale County were granted citizenship by the government in 2016.

“This is a strong demonstration of how we respect the human rights of our people,” he said, adding that Kenya remains hospitable for all Africans who wish to live and engage in legitimate economic activities in the country.

The CS noted that all individuals who wish to gain Kenyan citizenship will be subjected to rigorous background checks in order to weed out criminal aliens.

“We have recently deported several people who obtained identity documents fraudulently, and we will continue cleaning up our systems ruthlessly. Some of them find ways of mingling and interweaving themselves with criminals in our midst, and we have a duty to ensure that our country remains safe and secure.”

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