Kenya’s stateless Makonde people finally obtain papers

Published: 27/Oct/2016
Source: UNHCR

By: Wanja Lisa Munaita

NAIROBI, Kenya – Amina Kassim would like to register to vote in the next elections in Kenya, where she was born and has lived all her life, but is unable to do so.

Descended from an ethnic group from southeast Tanzania and northern Mozambique who had come to work as field labourers in the 1930s, she has no nationality. That means she has no Kenyan Identity Card to make her eligible for many things, including voting.

“When I get an ID card, I would like to vote like any other Kenyan, that is my joy,” says Amina.

She is among some 6,000 Makonde people whose parents and grandparents arrived in Kenya as early as 1936 to work as labourers in the sisal and sugarcane farms on the East African coast. Most never returned home.

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Themes: Naturalisation and Marriage, Statelessness
Regions: Kenya
Year: 2016