RIGHTS group, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) has condemned government threats to amend the Constitution to scrap dual citizenship as “undemocratic and discriminatory”.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede recently said the government would not align the Citizenship Act to the Constitution on dual citizenship, but it would amend the country’s charter to ensure dual citizenship is scrapped.
Mudede argued dual citizenship posed a security threat, but CiCZ — a coalition of civic society organisations — condemned the move as barbaric.
The CiCZ said the move showed government’s lack of political will to align several other laws to the Constitution.
“We are deeply concerned with efforts and intentions by the State to scrap dual citizenship by amending Chapter 3 of the Zimbabwean Constitution,” CiCZ said on Friday.
“The development indicates an absence of political accountability and political will to speedily align the country’s laws to the Constitution including the Citizen’s Act. In our view an amendment of Chapter 3 of the Constitution will cause statelessness.”
CiCZ said this “was part of a bigger ploy to disenfranchise Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora, as we head towards the watershed 2018 elections”.
“CiZC is appalled by such undemocratic and discriminatory tendencies by government, considering that the new Constitution is a new document, which was an outcome of extensive input of the majority including Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora,” the organisation said.
Chapter 3 of the Constitution says one may become a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth, descent or registration.
“As CiZC, we contend that amending Chapter 3 of the Constitution is a political move aimed at causing confusion regarding the citizenship status of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora ahead of the 2018 elections. Such a move also has potentially catastrophic consequences for the country’s citizens some of whom are citizens by descent,” CiCZ added.
“With an estimated three million Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora due to the country’s economic and political crises among a myriad of other reasons, it is of utmost importance that the government adheres to the Constitution as a means of ensuring that its citizens in the Diaspora remain Zimbabweans with full citizens’ rights.”