Malawians living in Diaspora have lauded the government of President Peter Mutharika for fulfilling its 2014 elections manifesto pledge to change citizenship laws and allow Malawians to hold other citizenships other than Malawi.
Malawi Parliament on Wednesday, December 12, 2019 passed a Bill to repeal Sections 8 to 11 of the Citizenship Act, which dealt with citizenship of children born outside Malawi, loss of citizenship if a person acquires another citizenship other than by marriage and loss of citizenship by a Malawian woman who marries a foreigner unless she denounces her other citizenship.
Adding its voice to the ‘lauding’, the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) United Kingdom (UK) Wing has said it is proud to be associated with the governing party and its leadership “who have finally heard the loud cry of Malawians living and working abroad pertaining to dual citizenship”.
DPP UK Wing chairperson, Lewis Kamundi told Nyasa Times in an interview that Malawians living abroad who have since acquired their respective countries’ citizenship will now be free to return to Malawi to either work or engage in various businesses for the benefit of the nation.
“We owe it to President (Peter) Mutharika and his DPP administration. This issue has been quite sticky for many years. Presidents and governments have come and gone; they have only paid lip service but today, here we’re, dual citizenship will, finally, be allowed in Malawi,” said Kamundi,.
He added that “what APM and his DPP administration have done exhibits them as genuine sympathizers of the plight of Malawians living abroad, most especially those that have long desired to return to Malawi”.
He said Malawi now joins about two thirds of countries in the world that allow dual citizenship, most of which have high GDPs.
Kamundi said it is generally agreed that countries forbidding dual citizenship overall are not only more populated but also extremely poor.
High-income countries are more likely to allow dual citizenship and Malawi is bound to experience rapid social and economic surge within a matter of few years “because of this most strategic decision by the visionary APM and his government”, said Kamundi.
Kamundi, whose UK Wing has frequented the country to undertake various humanitarian and charitable activities, said many members who were unwilling to travel to the country due to their citizenship status “to help alleviate the suffering of fellow Malawians” will now be more than willing to embark on such mission.
“You will soon witness more of DPP UK Wing members coming to Malawi to contribute in various forms to the wellbeing of the people in Malawi. This is all because of the citizenship law, which now favours us, Malawians in Diaspora,” said the DPP UK Wing Chair.
The DPP UK Wing recently donated Likuni Phala to Mponela Health Clinic, Chikwawa and Mzimba district hospitals. They also donated clutches to Kachere Rehabilitation Centre in Blantyre recently and earlier donated various relief items worth millions of Kwacha to Mangochi District Hospital when it was gutted by fire.
Last week, members of the wing donated various relief items, including blankets and foodstuff to many people who had been displaced by floods in Machinjiri, Blantyre, among other charitable initiatives.
According to Kamundi, DPP UK is an extended arm of DPP Malawi. It was established over five (5) years ago and it was by DPP Executive members in August 2014 in Leicester, United Kingdom.
“The future and progress of Malawi is a collective responsibility regardless of party affiliation, colour, gender or creed,” he said, adding that some of the UK Wing’s core objectives include making DPP much visible in the United Kingdom; supporting DPP in fulfilling the manifesto pledges; carrying out fundraising activities on behalf of DPP; recruiting Malawians in the United Kingdom to join DPP; and to partner with the President and DPP in fulfilling Malawi’s development,” he said.