President Uhuru declares Makonde 43rd tribe of Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta issuing an ID and other Kenyan documents to Makonde community chairperson Thomas Nguli at Sawasawa grounds in Msambweni Sub County, Kwale County. PHOTOS By: Tobias Chanji/Standard

More than 1,076 Makonde community members were issued with Kenyan Identity cards (IDs) and officially declared as the 43rd tribe of Kenya by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday.

In the event that took place at Sawasawa grounds in Msambweni, Kwale County the President apologised to the tribe for the delay in issuance of the Kenyan documents that were due in December last year.

"Today we officially welcome our new community who from today will have citizenry and we will work together to build our country," said Uhuru.

He urged that after receiving the vital document they should make haste in registering as voters apart from getting other services like NHIF.

In spirit of affirmative action the President promised that most Makonde youths will be recruited as police and military officers once the process kicks off this year.

"In the next four years will also make sure that you have benefited from the Sh800 million that is given to people living with disabilities and the elderly," added the President.

The land issue did not also escape the ceremony after the Makonde Community Chairperson Thomas Nguli asked the head of state to resettle them somewhere instead of the camps that they are currently living in.

"The main problem that we have is lack of land and unemployment...and because you (President) said you will help us please don't get tired," urged Nguli.

The President then directed Kwale Governor to look into matters of land for the community which has over 5,000 members.

"And because what we waited for has been brought it is now our turn for you to seat and see what we will do. We will not assist those who have not stood with us," said Nguli who also asked for recognition of other communities like Pemba, Warundi and Warwanda.

Taking a swipe at the opposition over issues of land, Uhuru noted that he is not a land grabber as it was being peddled.

"This propaganda being peddled that our objective with Mvurya is to grab land is neither here nor there. There is no one who want other people's land, if we were to grab land with Mvurya we would have done now," said the head of state.

 Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya noted that political parties do not grab land but individuals do.

"The issue of land has always been made an agenda when people look for votes. There's no any land being taken by political coalitions but it is individuals who are also found in cord or Nasa," said Mvurya.

President Uhuru who was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Joseph Nkaissery (Interior and Coordination) and Najib Balala (Tourism) among other senators and MPs made stop overs at Caltex in Likoni, Kombani and Ukunda in Kwale as he drummed up support for Jubilee in an area that voted overwhelmingly for the opposition.