Members of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) in the diaspora, who are under the umbrella group of MCP Diaspora Network (MCPDN), have applauded the government for finally gazetting the dual citizenship bill.
The Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda on Thursday announced in the National Assembly that the long-awaited operationalization of the bill has now been finalized and that it is now fully gazetted.
Dual Citizenship is meant to accommodate Malawians in the diaspora, who might wish to hold on to their Malawian passport and that of the foreign country in which they are resident.
MCPDN Deputy Communications Director, Nic Thindwa, said the latest government move has demonstrated that it cares for those in the diaspora.
Thindwe said dual citizenship is what Malawi needed, especially in this age where there has been an out-flux of Malawians to live in foreign countries over the past two decades.
“This will open up Malawi more especially in this time when the world is one global village, it will mean ease of doing business for entrepreneurs and investors, opportunities for entrepreneurs to expand their businesses on an international scale which will benefit Malawi more,” he said.
Thindwa added that the ability to facilitate family reunification is another important factor for Malawian as families can now obtain citizenship together without leaving anyone behind.
“Many of us in the diaspora have always wanted to enjoy being Malawian together with our families, kids and everybody else. The inconvenience of losing your citizenship when you became a citizen of your host nation was a dilemma that caused a lot of stress to many families.”
The dual citizenship bill was assented in March 2019 by Former President Peter Mutharika at the height of political campaigning.
It received full support from the then Leader of Opposition now President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and his Vice Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima.
However, the Mutharika regime did not operationalise it.
After months of working on operationalizing of the bill, Chimwendo Banda, through Government Notice Number 59 of the Malawi Citizenship Act, announced that dual citizenship regulations 2021 is now gazetted into law.
Also commenting on the matter, MCPDN Chairperson Chalo Mvula said Malawians in the diaspora, and not only MCP members, are excited about the news.
Mvula said the fight to have dual citizenship has been long, but years of not giving up, relentless lobbying and the goodwill of the current government has meant the issue is now law.
“The issue of dual citizenship among the diaspora has been ongoing, several regimes in the past had made promises which were not fulfilled but to some of us who were proponents of the idea, we didn’t give up but continued to remind the government,” he said.
He further stated that the diaspora owes it to both Chakwera and Chilima who, during campaign time, made the commitment to the diaspora that dual citizenship will be delivered.
“President Chakwera on several occasions made the commitment that he will deliver dual citizenship for us. Even before he became president and on his visit to Manchester in 2017, he made the promise that once he will become President, he would make sure that Malawians in the diaspora can have dual citizenship, it’s great to see that the President has lived up to his word.
“MCPDN is grateful to all Members of Parliament who were instrumental in delivering this from the start, including the great work done by Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security in facilitating the operationalization of the bill,” said Mvula.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :