Peter Mutharika has no dual citizenship –DPP mouthpiece

Presidential hopeful Peter ‘Thom’ Mutharika is a citizen of Malawi, not of the United States of America as alleged by his detractors, according to the governing Democratis Progressive Party (DPP) broadsheet, Sky News of Friday.

On the recent Capital Radio  Straight Talk interview programme, Harry Mkandawire of Vice President Joyce Banda’s People’s Party,  questioned Mutharika’s citizenship to Malawi, claiming that he might be holding allegiance to two different countries—Malawi and the United States.

As such, Mkandawire contended, Mutharika should not be in the Malawi cabinet nor be considered as a presidential candidate in the 2014 general elections.

Peter Mutharika: Dual citizenship?

The newspaper claims that the Immigration Department in Malawi and the State Department of the US Government shows that Mkandawire’s assertions were not true.

It quotes Malawi’s Chief Immigration Officer, Elvis Thodi, as saying records at his Department show that Mutharika is a bona fide citizen of the Republic of Malawi.

Thodi affirmed that the question of Mutharika having any allegiance to another country, therefore, does not arise under the circumstances, according to the broadsheet.

“I can confirm that Hon. Professor Peter Mutharika is a bona fide citizen of the Republic of Malawi. He holds a Malawi Passport and as you may be aware, one can only qualify to obtain a Malawi Passport if he is a citizen of the Republic of Malawi,” Thodi is quoted to have said.

Added Thodi: “As you are aware the laws of the Republic of Malawi do not allow dual citizenship. As such, a passport of this Republic can only be given if my department is satisfied that the recipient does not hold allegiance to another country besides Malawi.

“In the case of Hon. Peter Mutharika, he has Malawi passport by the virtue of fact that he is an authentic citizen of this Republic only. That is what is on the official citizenship record.”

US comment

The newspaper also reported that the Public Affairs Officer at the United States Embassy in Malawi, Benjamin Donovan said that his government does not encourage dual citizenship “because of the problems it may cause”.

“Due to privacy concerns, we cannot provide additional information,” said Donovan.

According to the DPP mouthpiece, Mutharika detractors had lined up citizenship as one of the tools to dent his eligibility to contest the 2014 presidential elections. Surprisingly, the citizenship questions were not raised when he contested successfully the 2009 parliamentary elections.

Among the requirements, one needs to be a Malawi citizen to contest in the legislative polls.

But the DPP has not disputed the tag given by Mkandawire that Peter Mutharika is a “Mtchona.”

Currently, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Malawi, Peter Mutharika has been formally endorsed to inherit power from his brother, Bingu wa Mutharika whose constitutional two terms mandate expires in 2014.

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