Lamu’s Boni people hold celebrations on Uhuru’s big day

Tuesday November 28 2017

Boni community

Members of the minority Boni community who live in Lamu County gather on November 28, 2017 to celebrate President Kenyatta's inauguration. Boni Council of Elders spokesman Doza Diza said they organised the event to show their loyalty to the Jubilee administration. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KALUME KAZUNGU
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The Boni people, a minority community who live in Lamu County, Tuesday organised a special event to celebrate the inauguration of Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta.

The event, which was held at Bar’goni Village in Lamu West, brought together members of the community from various parts of the county.

Speaking to Nation during the event, Boni Council of Elders spokesman Doza Diza said they organised the event to show their loyalty to the Jubilee administration under President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto as they were being sworn into office at the Kasarani Stadium.

KASARANI

Mr Doza said almost all the Boni people could not make it to Nairobi for the ceremony and that was why they held the special event as a community to join the rest of Kenyans who converged at Kasarani Stadium.

“We were not able to travel to Nairobi for the swearing-in ceremony due to financial constraints. All in all, we decided to organise a special event within our vicinity.

“We have Bonis from all over Lamu who have attended the event here at Bar’goni. We have those from Basuba, Milimani, Mangai, Mararani, Kiangwe and Pandanguo. We have done this as a sign of loyalty to our President,” said Mr Doza.

Mr Ali Gubo, an elder, said since independence the Bonis have been marginalised by previous regimes and as such they have missed out on many services and goodies from the government.

RECOGNITION

He said he is confident that the Jubilee administration will finally recognise them and ensure they develop as a community.

Mr Gubo also urged President Kenyatta to ensure the Bonis have meaningful representation in the national government immediately after he assumes office.

“We have come together to celebrate the assumption into office of our President Uhuru Kenyatta. We have also done this so that the Bonis can be given special recognition.

“We feel there is need for the governments to ensure the Bonis are fully included in development matters in this nation. We want the government to ensure the community also gets to be represented in governance to make us feel part of Kenya. We are confident that the Jubilee government can achieve this and that’s why we are here today,” said Mr Gubo.

All the six Boni villages border Boni Forest which is currently under a security operation dubbed ‘Boni Enclave Campaign’ whose objective is to flush out Al-Shabaab militants said to be hiding there.

The militants have been launching deadly attacks on civilians and security agencies.

The Boni, who are traditionally hunters and gatherers, have for decades depended on the forest for survival but were locked out immediately the operation was launched in September 2015.