SOUTH Africa-based Zimbabwean businessman Mutumwa Mawere has stepped up efforts to regain the citizenship he lost after he secured a South African one in 2002.
Report by Everson Mushava
Zimbabwe’s current constitution outlaws dual citizenship, although a reprieve is in sight once President Robert Mugabe assents to the draft constitution, which was recently passed by both Houses of Parliament.
In a letter to Registrar-General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede yesterday, Mawere said the decision to deny him Zimbabwean citizenship would disenfranchise him as he intended to participate in the forthcoming polls.
Mawere has been linked to the United Movement for Democracy Party (UMDP) that was launched in Gweru last week, but he has denied leading the party.
The letter was also copied to Home Affairs co-ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone, Constitutional Affairs minister Eric Matinenga and Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa.
Mawere claimed he has followed the necessary procedures to obtain his identity card (ID), but was being frustrated because Mudede was an interested party.
“Your involvement in my matter suggests an ulterior motive. I should like to believe that other persons that were born in Zimbabwe of Zimbabwean heritage are not subjected to the same redlining treatment,” Mawere wrote to Mudede.
“Such treatment of targeting certain persons because of their profile is not only discriminatory, but is contrary to the provisions of both the old and new constitution.”
Mawere claimed he made an application for an ID with the RG’s Office, but was surprised when he was told that Mudede wanted to meet him before the application could be processed.
He said he was referred to Chinamasa for clarification, although he believed the issue at hand was “outside” the minister’s scope.
“The new Constitution that is now awaiting Presidential signature clearly clarifies the position that a person born in Zimbabwe of two Zimbabwean parents is automatically entitled to Zimbabwean citizenship.
“The fact that such a person may be a holder of foreign citizenship is irrelevant otherwise exception would have been provided in the new Constitution,” said Mawere.
Mudede, Chinamasa and Makone could not be reached for comment, but Matinenga said although he had not seen the letter, the Home Affairs ministry was best placed to comment on it.
“But even though, Mawere is a Zimbabwean citizen by birth, I don’t know why he should have problems in restoring his citizenship,” Matinenga said.