Big read: Kenya’s 43rd tribe: Makonde’s long journey to identity

Published: 7/Feb/2017
Source: The Star (Nairobi)


When Thomas Nguli led the over 1,000 Makonde community and other stateless people from Kwale to State House, Nairobi, on October 2016, he had one thing in mind: to get recognised as Kenyan citizens.

The walk, supported by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and other civil society organisations in Kwale, faced a lot of problems, from Coast regional coordinator Nelson Marwa trying to stop them, to forceful detention at the Voi police station.

Nguli and his team were allowed to continue trekking to Nairobi. President Uhuru Kenyatta then heard their cry and apologised for the failure by other governments to register them.

“I am a very happy person, especially as a leader who has led this community, to see the government giving them IDs while I’m alive. Most leaders in liberation die before they enjoy the fruits. I am very lucky,” Nguli said.

This was after Uhuru issued the Makonde community with 1,176 IDs, 1,731 birth certificates and 1,496 citizenship documents in Kwale on Wednesday.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, ID Documents and Passports, Statelessness
Regions: Kenya
Year: 2017