Amnesty International Regional Director for Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena, has hailed the Kenyan government for granting full citizenships to the Shona community in the country who have been stateless for sixty years as well as stateless people from Rwanda.
Muchena extolled the “bold” move by Kenya, saying it was a triumph for Pan-Africanism and could mark a turning point in leadership for Africa to address the millions of African people who are stateless in Africa. He posted on Twitter:
After 6 decades of statelessness, the Shona Community of Kenya were today granted citizenship. They will now enjoy full constitutional rights as Kenyans. #JamhuriDay2020 marks the end of their statelessness and signifies Pan-African leadership by Kenya.
Additionally, on the same #JamhuriDay2020 stateless people from Rwanda were granted full citizenship and will now be enjoying full constitutional rights and protection under the law. Triumph of pan-Africanism being witnessed!
This marks a turning point in leadership for Africa to address the millions of African people who are stateless in Africa.
Take bold pan African decision to end this crisis of belonging by Africans in Africa. Grateful to [the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)] leadership on this.
This comes after Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta granted a group of Shona people who migrated from Zimbabwe to Kenya between 1930 and 1950 and migrants from Rwanda full citizenship on Jamhuri Day.
Jamhuri Day is a national holiday in Kenya, celebrated on 12 December each year. Jamhuri is the Swahili word for “republic” and the holiday is meant to officially mark the date when Kenya became a republic on 12 December 1963.