Harare – Cabinet has approved the principles of the Zimbabwe Citizenship Bill in a move that would result issuance of dual citizenship to people born in Zimbabwe.
Addressing a media briefing on Tuesday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the proposed law would result in extension of the waiting period for one to get a citizenship from five years to 10 years.
Mutsvangwa said government was in the process of aligning the country’s laws to the provisions of the constitution.
“Cabinet approved the principles for the amendment of the Zimbabwe Citizenship Bill as of the ongoing process of aligning the country’s laws to the provisions of the constitution.
“Key provisions of the amendments are renaming the Zimbabwe Citizenship Act as the Zimbabwe citizenship Act, permitting of dual citizenship for citizens by birth, establishment of a Zimbabwean citizenship board to, inter alia, oversee the granting of revocation of citizenship by decent and registration, prohibition of citizenship by decent and registration, and the requirement of applicants for citizenship by registration to have resided in Zimbabwe for 10 years contrary to the current requirement of five years in terms of the current Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act,” she said.
Attorney General Prince Machaya said the aligned Act will be seeking to incorporate what is in the constitution.
“ In the case of one Mutumwa Mawere the constitutional court has since clarified those issues and some of the challenges that have been made in court were basically challenged by either the Registrar General or the minister on the basis of the facts pertaining to particular cases.
“What the new or aligned Act will be seeking to achieve is simply to incorporate what is in the constitution into the Act and put it beyond any doubt what the law is because if one reads the current Act and if one reads the constitution, one can see clearly that there is lack of consistency in some of the important provisions,” he said.
He said the current Act prohibits dual citizenship by any citizen whereas the constitution permits citizenship for those who are citizens by birth.
“For instance the current Act prohibits dual citizenship by any citizen whereas the constitution itself permits citizenship for those who are citizens by birth so the principles presented to the today makes it clear that the Act has to be amended in that respect and also a number of other respects so that it is consistent with the constitution,” he said.