Members of the community, living in Msambweni and Lungalunga constituencies of Kwale County in Kenya’s Coastal region, now identify themselves using ID cards bearing the Kenya flag.
Images seen by kenyagist.com show that the cards are similar and labelled ‘Warundi Community of Kenya’.
On the far right is an image of the card holder, who is assigned a unique number starting with the initials WMCK and followed by a seven-digit number.
The name, village, location, sub-county and county are also indicated on the front side of the card.
At the bottom of the card is the Kenyan flag with the caption, ‘Pamoja Tujenga Taifa’ (Let’s build the nation together). On the right side of the card is an image of a coconut tree, a common feature in the Kenyan Coast.
The Warundi community claims that it resorted to producing its own ID cards after the government frustrated their efforts to acquire Kenyan citizenship.
Despite being in the country for nearly 60 years, the government sidelined them when they recognised the Shona and Makonde communities in 2017 and 2021.
The community claims that lacking identification cards has denied them access to several social services that are accorded to ordinary Kenyans.
“All these years we have spent here (in Kenya), we are still considered foreigners. Some of us are missing out on the stipend given to the elderly by government,” the community elder stated.
In addition, the Warundi admitted hiding from police officers who go after them knowing that they do not have valid ID cards or permits to be in the country.
“Police have hunting-us down from as early as 8.00am. We are forced to spend nights on top of trees because we do not have identification cards,” Shadrack Kiza told the media.