• The community is originally from Zanzibar in Tanzania and is believed to have set foot in Kenya before World War II.
• The Pemba community could not be granted citizenship because they were not well organised.
Close to 100,000 Pemba community members will from today (Friday) identify themselves as Kenyan citizens.
President William Ruto who is in Kilifi will issue citizenship award to the community at Karisa Maitha Stadium.
The community members have been living in Kenya for decades with no document to prove their citizenship; 100,000 members but only 7, 123 are registered. The rest hid their identities for lacking citizenship.
A larger population of the community is found along the coastal strip with the majority living in Kwale, followed by Kilifi and Mombasa. Others are found in Nakuru, Homa Bay and Kisumu.
In Kwale they are mainly concentrated in the small villages of Kichakamkwaju, Shimoni, Gazi, Vanga, and Mangwei.
The wealth of the Pemba community lies in their best skills in fishing, sea diving, and seafaring.
However, the community has remained poor being stateless for more than half a century but thanks to the government, a new day has come for the Pemba people.
The community is originally from Zanzibar in Tanzania and is believed to have set foot in Kenya before World War II.
In 2016, both Pembas and Makonde marched together to the State House fighting for recognition but only the Makonde were granted citizenship. Hindus and Shonas were also considered by the government.
The Pemba community could not be granted citizenship because it was said they were not well organised.
But in 2020, the Pembas through national leaders led by Kilifi North MP Owen Baya, petitioned the government to end statelessness and in 2021 parliamentary report was released recommending recognition of the community.
This is after a special committee was formed to investigate the legitimacy of the Kenyan Pemba community.
However, on August 11, 2021, after the committee presented their findings to Parliament, according to Baya it was ruled that Pembas are Kenyans.
"The National Assembly after reviewing the report confirmed that Pembas are the indigenous people of this nation and should be given their citizenship rights," he said.
Early this year, the National Assembly adopted a report by the National Security and Administration Committee to grant Pemba citizenship.