Friday, January 09, 2009

(NYASATIMES) Malawians debate on dual nationality

Malawians debate on dual nationality
Thom Chiumia 09 January, 2009 01:46:00

Malawian bloggers and “netizens” have been debating on the issue of Malawians having dual nationality following Nyasa Times story that brother to the President, Peter Mutharika has dual nationality.

The President’s brother holds two passports now, U.S and Malawian passports respectively and there are questions on his eligibility to run for the Thyolo East constituency parliamentary seat this year and the presidency in 2014.

Malawi’s Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act does not allow citizens of other countries to run for elections.

A Malawian blogger Cryton Chikoko on his pleads to the powers that be to revisit (with the aim to amend) the archaic citizenship and nationality law - Malawi Citizenship Act, dated July 6, 1966.

“This is not only for the good of Malawians stuck abroad but also for the good of the country,” argued Chikoko on his blog.

“I therefore advocate a new citizenship law allowing dual citizenship. This is good to Malawians who are still interested in Malawi but have embraced other citizenship as they will be allowed to maintain dual citizenship with unrestricted rights to work and own property in Malawi,” he wrote.

Chatonda Mtika, co-moderator of Nyasanet discussion forum, posted his view in favour of dual citizenship for Malawians.

“I am for dual citizenship. I have yet to hear a convincing reason why we shouldn't have it. But, at the same time, I expect the laws of Malawi to be followed, without exception,” he wrote on the forum.

Mtika went on to state that he was not okaying Prof Mutharika to run for office.

“I'm not saying it's ok for Peter [Mutharika] to run for office. The laws of Malawi need to be followed. I am staunchly against changing the law (or looking the other way) to satisfy certain individuals.”

Trevor Chimimba added his voice to the debate.

“The right to run for elective public office is guaranteed by the Constitution subject only to its provisions. If one is running to be a Member of Parliament, the Constitution is very clear. One has to be a citizen of the Republic, but one may be rendered ineligible if he or allegiance owes allegiance to a foreign government.

“If owing allegiance in this particular case was intended to proscribe one from having dual citizenship the Constitution should have said so expressly. As already conceded having a citizenship of another country may be a pointer to owing allegiance to that country but for the purposes of the Constitution is not necessarily conclusive,” wrote Chimimba, a lawyer based in the US.

London based Nyasanetter, Pia Likoya also posted his reaction:“When you stand before the judge and he declares you a citizen of the United States of America don't you pledge to owe allegiance to the constitution of that country. What’s the point if you don't mean it.”

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At 5:24 AM , Blogger Denny said...

What is to own an allegience? It is simply to belong. And how do you belong in terms of human migration? It is simply by citizenary. This may come in many forms - by birth, by naturalisation in a another country other than that of birth, by resettlement in a foreign land if fleeing from conflics in the country of birth, by denounceation of your country of birth. The mare reason that you owe allegiance it's because you are a citizen. You can not owe allegiance and not be a citizen of that land and on the other hand, you can not accept citizenary and refuse to owe your allegiance to that land. Which part is not clear about allegiance?

At 7:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malawi should allow double citizenship. There is more to win for Malawi than to lose. Malawians capable of obtaining another citizenship are normally well educated and economically sound, as well as well connected. Allowing double citizenship will strengthen their capability to invest in Malawi, connect Malawi abroad, etc.
Those opposing double citizenship are doing it out of selfish reasons. Either they are either full of jealousy, malice, deceit, or else they are very ignorant, worse still educated savages.
Ife amene tili ndi ana athu kunjaku this cruel citizenship law imatinyansa ndikutiwawa kwambiri. It is indeed such an inhuman and cruel law. I agree, let's indeed advance with the times. This is 21st century and not 1958!
CHANGE CITIZENSHIP LAW, ALLOW DOUBLE CITIZENSHIP. Let's only vote for parties that will amend citizenship law, AND ALLOW DOUBLE CITIZENSHIP.
Ana a Malawi ambiri ali kunja, I know the majority become citizens in the countries they live to make life easier, get education, etc. But deep down, they will ALWAYS be SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF MOTHER MALAWI!!!!!
Tiyeni tisataye ana wokulakula just because of THE STUPID AND CRUEL CITIZENSHIP LAW!!! Otherwise, it's not like when they have double citizenship ndiye kuti boma lidziwapasa makobili, ayi. On the contrary, they will help advance mother Malawi in more ways than one!
Kuyankhula ndiye ndiyankhula, wokumva wamva, wanzeru akuganiza Mozamb, amvekere " kodi ine ndikapangee bwanji inorder to make sure the citizenship law is amended, so that Dual citizenship is allowed?"


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