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Mawere dual citizenship case

Many Zimbabweans have been deprived of their citizenship rights, due to a misapplication of the requirement under Zimbabwean law to renounce any foreign citizenship in order to retain Zimbabwean citizenship. The policy of the Registrar-General’s Office has been to register as “aliens” all Zimbabweans who have a perceived or actual claim to citizenship of another country, whether they are actually foreign citizens or not. And once registered as aliens, these people were removed from the voters’ roll, as they were no longer deemed to be citizens. This policy is and always has been illegal. The Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act, Renunciation of Foreign Citizenship: Governing Rules (General Notice 584 of 2002) state that a person who merely has a claim or entitlement to foreign nationality is not a foreign citizen and therefore cannot be required to renounce a citizenship that he or she does not actually and presently possess. Regrettably, the Registrar-General seemed reluctant to change this policy.

As soon as the new Constitution was published, Mutumwa Mawere, a Zimbabwean by birth who subsequently acquired South African citizenship, approached the Registrar-General to have his Zimbabwean citizenship recognised in accordance with the new constitutional provisions. The Registrar-General informed Mawere that he was not entitled to dual citizenship under the new Constitution, and that he had to renounce his foreign citizenship in order to acquire Zimbabwean identification documents. Mawere lodged an urgent application at the Constitutional Court requesting that his entitlement to dual citizenship be confirmed and asking that, to protect his right to vote in the upcoming elections, the current “special and intensive” voter registration exercise be postponed pending the court’s decision. Immediately after hearing the case on June 26, the Constitutional Court granted an order confirming his dual citizenship. — Bill Watch, Veritas

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Categories: General
  1. August 2, 2014 at 4:23 am

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  2. August 8, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Hi, fantastic suggestion and an interesting article post,
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    still the state of affairs in a few months time

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