Malawians living in the United States have welcomed President Peter Mutharika’s order to Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu to draft new dual citizenship legislation, saying it is a step in the right direction which could see them contributing towards the growth of the country’s economy.
Malawians in Texas Organisation (Mito) and Malawians in Washington Association (MWA), in statement seen by Nyasa Times, say the dual citizenship will promote economic and capital investments in the country.
“It is imperative that this great initiative moves forward so that both Malawians at home and abroad can benefit from an ever expanding global society,” reads the statement in part co-signed by Malawians in Texas Chairperson Agness Nkhata and Sitinga Kachipande of Malawians in Washington .
South African-based legal scholar Danwood Chirwa added his voice to the debate by saying there is need for dual citizenship to be recognised as it makes it possible for people with multi-national identities to retain those identities. He said it also makes it possible for such people to fulfill obligations to the countries they are affiliated to.
The Malawi Constitution does not allow Malawian citizens and foreign nationals of Malawian descent above the age of 18 to hold dual citizenship, according to the Malawi Citizenship and Immigration Act of 1966.