African Missionaries in Identity Limbo: The Shona of Kenya

Published: 1/Oct/2020
Source: Kenya Human Rights Commission

After the right to life which only ceases to exist when people die, the KHRC opines that the second most important right is the right to citizenship. This is because the link between an individual and the state ispivotal for the enjoyment of all other fundamental rights and freedoms. Where this link is absent as is the case for stateless persons, then conversations about rights and responsibilities exist in a vacuum. This assertion, was cemented for the KHRC after our engagement with the Makonde community who were granted citizenship in 2016 and issued with identity cards in February 2017. The Makonde experience taught us firsthand, what it means to live in the shadows; to exist but be non-existent.

After the successful recognition of the Makonde, we have seen other stateless groups and communities come forward claiming they are stateless and enlist the support of the KHRC to acquire citizenship. One such group is the Shona community.

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Themes: Apatridie, Discrimination, Cartes d’identité et passeports, Enregistrement des naissances, Pièces d'identité, Ethnique/Raciale/Religieuse
Regions: Kenya
Year: 2020