Constitution: ‘Aliens’ celebrate milestone

WHILE the passing of the new constitution by the House of Assembly this week, was seen by many as a foregone conclusion, it has brought hope to thousands of Zimbabweans who were for long regarded as aliens in their country of birth.

Report by Nduduzo Tshuma

Denied their right to vote and facing difficulties in obtaining identity documents, Zimbabweans of foreign origin felt unwanted, but there was little they could do.

A low blow for the so-called aliens came ahead of the 2002 elections, where President Robert Mugabe described them as “totemless” people.

But with the passing of the new constitution, the hitherto aliens will for the first time be viewed as Zimbabweans and will be allowed to vote.

In a survey conducted by NewsDay, some Bulawayo residents expressed relief at the passing of the new constitution, saying it restored their nationality.

“My parents are from Malawi, but I have never set foot there, I was born and bred here, did my education here, only to be labelled an alien and that was unfair,” Patrick Langwana said.

“As it is, I do not have a passport, even a Malawian one, because even there I am an alien. In other words, I was stateless.”

Langwana said he has never taken part in any country’s major activities like voting in elections including the recently ended constitutional referendum.

“Obviously I will register to vote this year, it is what I have been longing for my whole life,” he said.

Zimbabwe has a large community of people who migrated from Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique to work in the mines and other industrial projects particularly during the 1950s federation between the then Nyasaland (Malawi), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

Most of these people settled permanently in Zimbabwe since then, but after 2000 they were asked to renounce their foreign citizenship if they wanted to acquire Zimbabwean citizenship.

Journalist Annahstacia Ndlovu said she was forced to apply for citizenship in 2008 after her name was struck off the voters’ roll.

“I was born in Zimbabwe and all my documents were obtained in Zimbabwe and this madness of calling people aliens must end,” she said. Ndlovu said she had since applied for citizenship, advising the “aliens” to check the voters’ roll in case their names might have been struck from the register of voters.

However, for others, the passing of the new constitution came a little too late, as they had been forced to renounce their foreign citizenship and at the same time paying huge fees at the Registrar General’s Office.

“I renounced my citizenship a long time ago, I had to wait for six months for forms to swear my allegiance to Zimbabwe before I could apply for a passport, so these developments came late for me,” Ndlovu said desolately.

“I have gone to hell and back to be considered a Zimbabwean yet I was born here.”

Under the new constitution, all people born in Zimbabwe are guaranteed citizenship by birth, while those born of Zimbabwean parents abroad will be considered citizens by descent.

The new charter is expected to sail through Senate next week, before Mugabe signs it into law.

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  1. principles of democracy

    All people who were labeled aliens must never vote for Mugabe. He deprived you of your birth rights. In 2002 he labelled you as totemless people.

    1. Zpf wil regret the day they made the draconian amendments.

  2. Zpf wil regret the day they made the draconian amendments.

  3. i jst say better .

  4. Nyaya yekudaidzana kti maAliens ngaipere.these people workd hard in our mines,farms and factories for Zim to labeled the bread basket of Afrika yet wdd undrestimate them as though they r strange objects frm another planet.they are Zimbabweans bkz their sweat,blood and tears are in Zimbabwe.lets embrace them,they r our family members.

  5. There is still a big problem because its difficult to get new national identity cards these days, why not using what they have instead of renewing, i think someone is playing politics because they have been using the same identity cards from 1980 why today, all political parties must open their eyes, that office again is working technically to deprive zimbabweans of their right to vote, about 400 000 aliens in zimbabwe and youth above 18yrs and someone is smiling to only register less than 40000 pple and i think ZEC is not doing enough to find out why pple are failing to register only to wait for oppositions to complain, i think Rita is too scared or not strong enough to handle the situation.

  6. MaAliens imi musafarise muzive pekuvhotera, Zanu-pf ndizvo! Mukada kuita zvamakamboita panguva yeminda zvekuda kudefender varungu kuti tisatore minda yedu, tinopesana zvekuti mamaZimbabweans izvo tinombo zvikanganwa, bvunzai vanhu veMDC-T vanokuudzai kuti panyaya dzevhu hatidzokere shure.

    1. Msunu kanyoko

    2. Iwe unotaura ndove… Wakunhuwa manje.

  7. Udzaiwo macheso kuti ngashandise his popularity to conscientise pple about the predicaments of aliens sezvo iye mualien.kwete zvake zvokuchema nemufaro amhoroswa ne his biggest oppressor.shame on you all popular aliens who side with zpf kusanganisira macheso.

  8. siamon simpsis

    thanx mudhara bhobho yu are genious

  9. Our bros and Sisters

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  11. If it were not for these so called aliens some of our aunts, sisters, vaishaya varume. So lets just tolerate them. How many soccer players past and present are of alien origins? Ko kuhondo how many participated?

  12. @bird’s view ndiwe uneyese,u are right makwerekwere iwayo kunyanya ana chimwene ndimi munonyanyoda hama yenyu bob mukavhotera zanu pf toziva hamugarike nemi vote mdc t!

  13. It’s funny how people of malawi,zambia and mozambique descent are labelled aliens yet they are the majority luckly my ld was not printed alien but the fact zimbabwe is for aliens,macheso,mwaruwaru,chunga,nicholas zakaria,musonaz the list is endless.can the really shonaz stand up or ndebeles non

  14. I think we “former aliens” must no state our political preferences in public. We must just be happy we are now accepted by the politicians. Ordinary Zimbabweans accepted us long back.

  15. So some think the aliens have been done a favour. No its not. We have earned the right. We deserve it. We are equals no more chana change tete.

  16. Zimbabwe is a Land of Aliens ,its just like a lay bye everyone is welcome and no one even the person wu discovered da lay bye must not b allowed to chase away others


    SO are they now able to apply for passports or you just want politicking with their status!!hatidi kuvharana kumeso.mune mhosva kare hurumende,making somebody an alien hence he/she was born in zimbabwe & one of the parents being a zimbabwean.last week muzukuru wangu akashaya basa pa mahusekwa hospital achinzi uri mu alien,coz his father is a mozambican but mother a zimbabwean,shame on you

  18. Naye umgabe is an alien ,by vitue of his unknown roots of his fathers side.

  19. Former "Alien" (Kunge tanga tiri from outer space)

    To all “former aliens” go to your nearest registration office and change those ID’s zvakanzi alien and make sure you register to vote.

    Zanu yaora!!!!!

  20. thank yu editor for the story on aliens. some people are not clear as to when they can now be able to apply for passports, ie when does this part of the constitution become law

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