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“CS Matiang’i, normalise my citizenship” – stateless man born and bred in Kenya says

Corrupt Fred Matiang’i , Interior Cabinet Secretary

Kamal Jadva Vekaria is a Kenyan born man who has been fighting to normalise his citizenship since December 2015.

Born to British parents in Kenya in 1984, Kamal was forced to start the process on ‘normalising’  his citizenship after he found out that -as an unregistered Kenya – he could not open and operate a bank account, own a phone or line in his name, stay at a hotel, fly locally or even ride the SGR, etc.

He laments that security personnel have always taken advantage of his situation due to lack of a Kenyan Identity Card (ID).

Kamal, however, has a birth certificate issued by the Kenyan government and has attended schools in Kenya. The only thing missing is an ID. He began the process of normalising his citizenship in August 2012, but decided to head to court three years later due to the non-communication by the Kenyan authorities.

His pleas have reached the Attorney General and a court granted him his wish.

However, the Ministry of Interior and the Department of Immigration have been slow in their dealings.

“I have been suffering from clinical depression for the last 5 years and this purely because of all the frustrations I have endured from the Immigration department. All the supporting documents are here-with attached”, Kamal says in part in a letter addressed to Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.

The painful thing about Kamal’s predicament is that he is also unable to get gainful employment as he doesn’t have an ID. This, he says, has affected his relationship with his family.

“I am bother to my family since I am unable to get employed and have to do consultancy works’, Kamal says.

Citizenship as per the law

In the registration of stateless, as Kamal is, the law says, ‘A person who does not have an enforceable claim to the citizenship of any recognized state and has been living in Kenya for a continuous period since 12th December, 1963, shall be deemed to have been lawfully resident and may, on application, in the prescribed manner be eligible to be registered as a citizen of Kenya if that person (1) has adequate knowledge of Kiswahili or a local dialect; (ii) has not been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three years or longer; (iii) intends upon registration as a citizen to continue to permanently reside in Kenya or to maintain a close and continuing association with Kenya; and (iv) the person understands the rights and duties of a citizen,’

As per the documents seen by, Kamal fulfils all the above.

Kamal is stuck, because, if the Kenyan govt doesn’t want to give him citizenship, he needs papers to fly out to maybe British Overseas where his parents are citizens, since, according to the Judge Lenaola’s decision, ‘on his right to leave Kenya under Article 39(2), such a right is also tied to his pending application as he presently has no nationality at all.

The ping pong game is not helping and as such, calls upon the immigration department to respect the rule of the law even as ordered by Justice Lenaola in 2015 that, ‘An order of Mandamus is hereby issued directing the Respondent within 45 days of today’s date to consider the Petitioner’s Application as a citizen of Kenya and thereafter comply with Article 47(2) of the Constitution”.

As per the documents has seen, the govt has been served with all the necessary documents but has remained mum on what more is required.

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