An Asian businessman Kassam Nurmahomed has been arrested by the Immigration Department for contravening the Citizenship Act after he was found in possession of a British and Malawian passport when he was about to leave the country for South Africa.
Nurmahomed was arrested at Chileka IAirport in Blantyre after Immigration Department got a tip-off to the effect that the businessman was in possession of several passports.
Authorities approached Nurmahomed and searched him, recovering a Malawian passport and a British passport.
According to documents seen by Nyasa Times, Nurmahomed had acquired the Malawian passport number MA 867427on 26 April 2016 and started using it alongside his British passport.
Malawi laws prohit dual citizenship.
Immigration officials asked him to surrender the Malawian passport to use his British docuements or go to renounce the UK papers for the Malawian travel documents.
But Nurmahommed challenged that he cannot surrender any of the passports, saying he will use his “connections” to keep using both documents.
He reportedly told Immigration Department that he surrendered the British passport but sources says he had claimed to UK High Commission loss of a passport and he was issued a new booklet.
Commentators who spoke to Nyasa Times commended Immigration Department for kickstarting a crackdown on violators of citizenship law, saying many Asian traders were in contravening the Citizenship Act.
President Peter Mutharika is on record to have told the state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation that the Ministry of Justice is currently working on the legislation which will enable Malawians hold dual citizenship.
The President said he will live to his promise he made in parliament e that government will review dual citizenship law.“We are currently drafting the legislation, very soon we will have the legislation,” he said.
But as the President promised, dual citizenship will come into effect when the law changes but those having dual nationalities in Malawi are contravening the law and deserve to be indicted.
Anyone, not only Asians, who are using dual citizenship before the legislation allowing more than single nationality, are committing an offence and can face charges.
Single citizenship is a national allegiance to a country s from the fact of having been born and raised in that country. This form of allegiance is sometimes turned into an entitlement which allows some people to make certain claims against the state.
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