Malawians in diaspora hail dual citizenship law review

Malawians in Texas Organisation (Mito) and Malawians in Washington Association (MWA), together with other organisation in the diaspora have said President Peter Mutharika’s order to  Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu to draft new dual citizenship legislation is a step in the right direction.

The organisations, in a joint statement made available to The Nation yesterday, said they hope that the dual citizenship issue will be treated as a matter of urgency and they will continue to support the enactment of laws that are in the best interest of all Malawians.

Malawian passport
Malawian passport

“It is imperative that this great initiative moves forward so that both Malawians at home and abroad can benefit from an ever expanding global society,” reads the statement in part.

The diaspora organisations have since called on all people of Malawian descent to support this cause and they have delivered an advocacy statement supporting the initiative to government through the Malawi Embassy in Washington D.C.

Recently, after the President made the order, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) joined in the bandwagon of other concerned parties calling for the speedy tabling of the revised piece of legislation.

Last year, South African-based legal scholar Danwood Chirwa added his voice to the debate by saying there is need for dual citizenship to be recognised as it makes it possible for people with multi-national identities to retain those identities. He said it also makes it possible for such people to fulfill obligations to the countries they are affiliated to.

In 2013, Professor Adamson Muula of the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine also said he supports dual nationality.

The Malawi Constitution does not allow Malawian citizens and foreign nationals of Malawian descent above the age of 18 to hold dual citizenship, according to the Malawi Citizenship and Immigration Act of 1966. n

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