The Sengwer community has appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to recognize them as the 47th tribe before the August general election when he will be retiring.
Speaking to Western Kenya Times in Kitale, the community spokesperson, Dickson Rotich, said they have been neglected for decades since 1895 as the marginalized community living in Trans Nzoia and other several counties that include West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Bomet, Kericho, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, and part of Bungoma County.
Rotich said the Sengwer community members go through a lot of humiliation when it comes to the allocation of resources and social services. He said they are not considered for jobs or equalization funds, among other benefits.
He said the community refused to be counted in the 1999 Kenyan Census after the government generalized them as part of the Kalenjins.
In the 2019 Census, the Sengwer Community was given a recognition code and 33,000 members in Trans Nzoia County alone were counted, although some were mistakenly categorized as “Sengeri” (a tribe that does not exist) while others were thought to be Kalenjins.
They think that if President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration can edge part of the Trans Nzoia East in Cheranganyi Constituency and create another sub-county, it will enable them to have their own Member of Parliament to represent their grievances.
Mr. Rotich has been walking from one county to another with the main message of recognition.
In 2016, President Uhuru’s administration recognized another community on the Kenyan Coast-the Makonde-which had only 10,000 members after entering Kenya in 1940.
Mike Musungu is a reporter at Radio Simba in Bungoma and a correspondent of Trans Nzoia County for the Western Kenya Times.