Cabinet has approved principles for the amendment of the Zimbabwe Citizenship Bill as Government works on ensuring that people born in the country are granted dual citizenship.
This is in line with the new Constitution adopted in 2013 which allows for one to hold dual citizenship.
Briefing journalists after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the proposed changes included renaming of the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act as the Zimbabwe Citizenship Act.
“Following presentation by the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Cabinet approved the principles for the amendment of the Zimbabwe Citizenship Bill as part of the ongoing process of aligning the country’s laws to the provisions of the Constitution,” she said.
“Key provisions of the amendment include permitting of dual citizenship for citizens by birth, establishment of a Zimbabwe Citizenship and Immigration Board to, inter alia oversee the granting and revocation of citizenship by descent or registration and prohibition of dual citizenship for citizens by descent and registration.”
The proposed changes also want to make it a requirement for applications for citizenship by registration to have resided in Zimbabwe for 10 years contrary to the current requirement of five years.
Expanding on the proposed amendments, Attorney General Advocate Prince Machaya said:
“What the new aligned act will be seeking to achieve is simply to incorporate what is already in the Constitution into the Act and put it beyond any doubt what the law is. If one reads the current Act and the Constitution one can see clearly that there is lack of consistence in some of the important provisions for instance the current Act prohibits dual citizenship by any citizen whereas the Constitution permits dual citizenship for those who are citizens by birth. The principles presented today make it clear that the Act has to be amended so that it is consistent with the Constitution.”
Dual citizenship has been posing challenges which include tax evasion, evasion from justice, involvement in cases of human trafficking, international terrorism and problems in immigration control.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet had also approved principles for the amendment of the Manpower Planning and Development Act (Chapter 28:02) after a presentation by Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Amon Murwira.
She said the amendments principally seek to “streamline and elevate the role of tertiary institutions, science and technology institutions as well as professional bodies in the industrialisation and modernisation of Zimbabwe. It also seeks to entrench good corporate governance.”