Malawi Citizenship Bill Amended in Parliament Today

Malawi has passed an amendment to the Citizenship Act in parliament today that recognizes Dual Citizenship. The news was welcome by many Malawians in the Diaspora although some expressed skepticism that the bill had been passed. The news was confirmed by the Malawi government through its post on its official Facebook page that reads as follows: According to the Nation …

Dual citizenship conversation in Malawi silent and unresolved

Newspapers in Malawi widely reported  in 2016 that President Mutharika had instructed Justice minister Samuel Tembenu to draft a dual citizenship legislation to allow Diaspora Malawians to come back home and invest without restrictions. However, after this, there were no updates from the government on the progress of this legislation – the conversation went silent until 2018.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr Emmanuel Fabiano, commented on the government’s long silence on dual citizenship to Malawians in Ethiopia in March of this year. A Malawi24 News article, reports him stating that, “…Malawi will never be silent on the matter until it is resolved…”

However, he then goes on to emphasize the need for the diaspora Malawians in Ethiopia to “learn from other countries like Ethiopia where the diaspora contributes to the development of their country in the absence of dual citizenship.” However, whilst he was correct in saying Ethiopia doesnt allow Dual Citizenship, we need to point out that although Ethiopian law does not explicitly allow dual citizenship, it does permit for Ethiopians abroad to have identity cards which allows Ethiopians who have acquired citizenship in other countries to maintain certain privileges that are granted to citizens of Ethiopia (Ethiopia 16 Jan. 2006). These rights include, but are not limited to entering Ethiopia without a visa, owning immovable property in Ethiopia (such as land), and being employed in Ethiopia. Its also important to note that Ethiopians are currently seeking dual citizenship in spite of this identity card scheme so that they can participate in building their country without restrictions.

President Mutharika was asked about dual citizenship a month later on a trip to the U.K. where he met with Malawians in the UK and promised to “sort out” dual citizenship laws. According to an article in the Nyasatimes, “Mutharika assures Malawians in the UK to sort out Dual Citizenship,

President Mutharika noted in April that the cabinet had approved the dual citizenship law draft and it had been sent to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs who were “working on it”. A brief timeline was provided about the process and as to when we should expect to see the bill be debated or passed in parliament which pointed to November of this year and final approval by May 2019. However, once again, the conversation about dual citizenship has gone silent.

 

Joint Organizational Statement in Regards to Dual Citizenship in Malawi

Joint Organizational Statement issued by Malawi Washington Association (MWA) and Malawians in Texas Organization (MITO) in response to President Mutharika’s orders to draft a new Dual Citizenship legislation for Malawi. Issued on August 4th, 2016. As organizations in the Diaspora representing Malawians and friends of Malawi, we have long requested our government to enact more comprehensive, inclusive and forward-looking dual …

Mutharika Pledges Dual Citizenship, Opposition Parties Back Up Calls

Malawi’s newspaper headlines have been addressing the issue of Dual Citizenship that was brought up by MWA to President Mutharika during his meeting with the Malawian Diaspora in the United States last week. Below is a compilation of some of the articles that were published: “Mutharika Thrills Malawians Living Abroad on Dual Citizenship Pledge” – Edwin Mandowa, Malawi Voice “Addressing …

Remarks from Malawi Washington Association (MWA) to H.E. President Mutharika:Dual Citizenship, Development and Diaspora

Remarks from Malawi Washington Association (MWA) to H.E. President Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi on the occasion of A Meeting with Malawians Resident in the Washington Metro Area.  Delivered by Sitinga Kachipande – President, Malawi Washington Association, Ritz-Carlton Hotel – Georgetown, Washington DC on August 7th, 2014. Your Excellency, Professor Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi, Your Excellency, Madame Gertrude …

Striking Citizenship: FIFA, Football and Malawi

Many professional football (soccer) players today are citizens of more than one country.  Most professional clubs have at least one player or coach who holds multiple nationalities. This reflects the current world we live in where borders can be transcended and people are a hodge-podge of identities.  At FIFA World Cup 2010, we observed Ghanian born brothers compete at the …

Blog Action Day: Citizenship, Technology and ‘We’

This year, many bloggers around the world are participating in Blog Action Day. This year’s theme is entitled “The Power of We”. The theme aptly describes the mission and function of the Movement for Dual Citizenship for Malawi. Whilst some people underestimate the power of blogging, blogging presents new ways in which Malawians can engage with one another to bring …

Afropolitans: Africans of the World

Globalization has had a profound impact on migration patterns in Africa creating increasingly complex identities within Africa and the African Diaspora. As Afua Hirsch aptly narrates, she is often considered, “…too black to be British and too British to be African”. Many Malawians find themselves at [a similar] cultural crossroads. They are considered be too British to be Malawian and …

Olympic Strategy and Citizenship

The Olympics are the biggest global sporting event that offers countries an opportunity to show their talents. They allow nations to brand or promote themselves through sports in a way that expensive advertising cannot – It is what a sport like basketball has done to raise the profile of the USA, or short distance running for Jamaica or long distance …