The Herald – Breaking news.

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Envoy hails naturalisation of Malawian descendants 
President Mnangagwa meets outgoing Malawian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Mwayiwayo Mclloyd Polepole who bade him farewell at State House in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Believe Nyakudjara.

Senior Reporter

THE Ambassador of Malawi to Zimbabwe, Mr Mayiwayo McLloyd  Polepole, yesterday hailed the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa for agreeing to naturalise people of Malawian origin whose citizenship had over the years been a subject of uncertainty.

Amb Polepole said President Mnangagwa’s decision to naturalise people of Malawian origin who had traditionally been regarded as aliens showed the close bilateral relationship that existed between Harare and Lilongwe.

The Malawian envoy said this yesterday at State House in Harare soon after bidding farewell to President Mnangagwa after completing his three-year tour of duty.

“One thing that I also need to appreciate is what happened here in Zimbabwe. The Second Republic had already taken up all Malawians who in some other times had challenges in terms of where they were. 

“Were they Malawians or Zimbabweans? The leadership of President ED Mnangagwa made it a point that these must be assumed to be Zimbabweans and Zimbabwe did a great thing that we need to appreciate,” said Amb Polepole.

“There are so many issues that we can share. Malawi and Zimbabwe are the same and when I was having a chat with the President, he mentioned something which I can share with you, he said we are all one, what injures Malawi injures Zimbabwe and what injures Zimbabwe injures Malawi, so we are all one and we need to enjoy this relationship.”

Malawi has since introduced dual citizenship to allow those that were born outside its borders to Malawian parents to be granted citizenship. 

A number of Malawians moved to Zimbabwe especially during the years of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland  a three-nation political and economic unit that was founded around 1953 consisting of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi).

The federation collapsed in 1963 because of the imminent independence of Malawi and Zambia.

During the time of the federation, Malawi was not a mining or farming country but a labour market for the mines and farms in Zimbabwe.

The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that any person who has been continuously and lawfully resident in Zimbabwe for at least 10 years and who satisfies the conditions prescribed by an Act of Parliament is entitled to apply to be registered as a Zimbabwean citizen. It was on that legal basis that Zimbabwe granted most people of Malawian origin Zimbabwean citizenship, ending years of uncertainty over their citizenship status.

Amb Polepole said co-operation between the two countries had over the years grown from strength to strength. He said one major highlight of the bilateral relations between the two countries over the years was the reciprocal visit of President Mnangagwa to Malawi and the visit by Malawian leader, President Lazarus Chakwera to Zimbabwe.

“There are so many things we can do and so much we have already done. For your information we had a Joint Permanent Commission where about eight MOUs were signed, there is so much trade with Zimbabwe. 

“There is also an issue of tourism, there is a suggestion or proposal on the table that we come up with a framework where people who want to visit Lake Malawi can also visit Victoria Falls. You know, tourists visiting Lake Malawi can also visit Vic Falls,” said Amb Polepole.