Zim citizenship rules in chaos as nationals denied documentation

via Zim citizenship rules in chaos as nationals denied documentation | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell 22 October 2013

Scores of Zimbabweans, whose citizenship is meant to be recognised and guaranteed by the new constitution, have been denied documentation in recent weeks, with a lack of clarity on the laws causing chaos.

It was hoped that with the creation and gazetting of a new constitution, the confusion over who is entitled to citizenship would finally be clarified.

According to that new charter there are three types of recognised citizenship including citizenship by birth and by descent. The law states that if you were born in Zimbabwe and your mother or your father was a Zimbabwean citizen, you are a citizen by birth. The same applies if you were born in Zimbabwe and neither of your parents was a Zimbabwean citizen, but any of your grandparents was a citizen by birth or descent.

You’re also considered a citizen by birth if you were born outside Zimbabwe but either your mother or your father was a Zimbabwe citizen who normally lived in Zimbabwe or was working for the Government or an international organisation. If not, and your parent or grandparent was a Zimbabwe citizen by birth or descent, then you are a citizen by descent.

But despite these clear laws, people are still being turned away if neither of their parents are Zimbabwean citizens.

This includes the daughter of Simon Spooner, the former MDC security adviser and campaign manager for Senator David Coltart. Spooner‘s daughter Kylie, has been unable to secure a new passport, despite being a citizen by birth and a former passport holder. Her mother is a Zimbabwean citizen by birth, while her father was born in Kenya, but also holds Zimbabwean citizenship.

Spooner told SW Radio Africa that his daughter was assured by Registrar authorities in Harare that she could apply for passport renewal, despite suggestions that this would not be possible “because the statutory instrument governing the new status for citizenship had not been gazetted.” The provincial registrar in Bulawayo also supported the position stated in Harare, saying only that she need a certificate of citizenship to secure her new passport.

However last week when she went to the citizenship office for this certificate, she and a number of other Zimbabweans seeking documentation were turned away by an official.

“The officer there simply said there is no statutory instrument and therefore the constitution is not binding. Further to that he indicated that anybody of that status could not apply for passports, that the whole matter had been frozen since June, So that effectively denies hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, if not more, access to travel documents,” Spooner explained.

Spooner’s daughter was also told that because she obtained citizenship as a minor, “it no longer applies as you are now over 18.”

“What once senses is a deliberate obstruction and the manner in which people are being treated in this regard is very unpleasant,” Spooner said.

Calling it a “denial of people’s rights,” Spooner is now preparing to take the matter to court, saying: “Legal precedent is critical and a judgment needs to be delivered in a case like this.”

Andrew Makoni, the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the constitution is clear, and by now, citizens recognised according to the charter should be allowed access to their documents. He explained that a clear precedent was set by South African based businessman Mutumwa Mawere, who secured his Zimbabwean citizenship and documentation after a court challenge.

“Mutumwa Mawere went to the Constitutional Court to assert his right as a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth, notwithstanding his citizenship in South Africa by naturalisation,” Makoni explained, saying that this clearly asserted the authority of the constitutional rules.

He meanwhile said that argument given to the Spooners about a lack of a ‘statutory instrument’ is a “lame excuse.” He said the only challenge is a failure by Parliament to enact a Citizenship and Immigration Board, which according to the constitution, should be set up to deal with citizenship issues.

“The board is not yet constituted, so that is a challenge… but the courts are there to ensure that those people being denied the rights to citizenship and to their documents can approach the courts for relief,” Makoni said.

Efforts to get comment from the office of the Registrar General were fruitless on Tuesday.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 25
  • comment-avatar

    that’s why I renounced that green bomber “citizenship” and im a proud dutch citizen now. I have never looked back, nor regretted this move, its been the best thing I have ever done!

    • comment-avatar

      So my friend stop reading ‘Zimbabwe Situation” , we only want people that love our Zimbabwe.

  • comment-avatar
    Charlie Cochrane 7 years ago

    What the hell will it take for people, particularly whites, to realise that you are not welcome in that excuse for a country governed by gooks and morons and expedite your exit!
    The chief monkey has dictated the destruction of that land and even when he is rotting in hell another psychopathic megalomaniac will take over to ensure the job is completed! Leave, leave, leave my brothers and join us in a land where you are in the majority and where your children can play and where you can live in peace and prosper.

    • comment-avatar

      It is clear that both whites and blacks are being denied citizenship! Charlie, what really are you trying to achieve by mobilising other whites to leave the country? I find this to be very unhelpful and indeed, you are actually aiding the ZANU P.F propaganda! If indeed you have left the country, you can as well quietly start a new life there. Those who chose to remain in Zim will soldier on until the final victory!

    • comment-avatar
      MikeH 7 years ago

      I have to agree.

    • comment-avatar
      MikeH 7 years ago

      I have to agree with Charlie Cochrane, that is.

  • comment-avatar
    Doris 7 years ago

    Why is so much emphasis put on a passport? It’s only a travel document after all and gives you no other benefit.

    • comment-avatar
      MikeH 7 years ago

      With no passport the indvidual becomes stateless, besides which the individual is trapped and cannot get to where he/she wants to be. ie: out of Zimbabwe if that is the case.

      • comment-avatar
        Haaaa 7 years ago

        Lol, how many people have no passports world over, so you assume they are all stateless! No wonder Zim has gone to the dogs

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 7 years ago

    zanu reverting to form!!!And we supposedly voted in our numbers for this band of thieves???/

  • comment-avatar

    Easy to get a passport if you are Chinese, I am told. Doesn’t matter if you cannot even speak any known language in that ruined country. Go to the airport all the signs are in English and Chinese. They are made to feel welcome as they plunder the country.

  • comment-avatar
    Rudadiso 7 years ago

    It just shows how primitive the people who are running this country are. Registrar general officials are essentially an extention of Zanu P.F. They are at the beck and call of their political masters whose only “success” is 33 years is violation of human rights.

    This government wants people to waste their money going to court over basic rights. They shamelessly did the same thing to one of the Zimbabwe’s most remarkable entrepreneurial sons and now they bleat about indigenisation ad nauseum. He spent millions taking his government to court simply to be allowed to create employment is a country with few jobs. How sick is that?

  • comment-avatar
    Kisti-yatota 7 years ago

    just to correct some commenters, this is not a race issue…..Spooner here is but jus a mere example. It is affecting the deccedents of Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique etc who migrated into Zimbabwe at the height of its industrial and agric performance of the 40s to the early 80s. Many children born of this immigrates have no IDs……they are less fortunate to be able to speak to newspaper like Spooner, to approach the courts is a nightmare and they are just quiet but when we speak let us not play the race card

    • comment-avatar
      Rudadiso 7 years ago

      Kist-yatota you are so very right. The irony of it is that Mugabe abused many more black people from around the region simply because he deemed them to be MDC supporters. Like a wounded animal, he lashed out at penniless downtrodden farm workers, depriving them of their citizenship over night, rendering them destitute over night.

      It was painful to see them and their families huddled by the road side exposed to the elements. The majority had never even set foot in their so called homes. Many had their meager property set on fire by hired thugs pretending to be disgruntled war vets taking back their land.

      The irony of it is that while Mugabe operated like a common thug and indeed continues to do so in full view of the world, there are those on the African continent who still continue to tout him as an unparalleled Pan Africanist. Its all very nauseating.

      • comment-avatar
        Clive Sutherland 7 years ago

        Mugabe and those that are clinging on to him like a bad case of piles, are the biggest racists this country has ever seen and ironically have caused more harm to the majority black population then the white man did. Further to this, Mugabe made sure he drove a wedge between the whites and blacks as it would not suit Zanupf if there was perfect harmony amongst the races.
        Mugabe could have been respected like Nelson Mandela had he kept his promises he made at independence in 1980. Instead he has become a black Hitler, God help Zimbabwe!

  • comment-avatar

    LET US WAIT FOR THE CLARIFICATION FIRST ZIMABABWEANS THAN TO RUSH TO THE REGISTRY OFFICE….LETS RUSH WHEN SEEING THE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONSTITUTION IS ON TRACK….NOTHING CAN BE DONE OVER NIGHT…LET US BE MATURE,WE ARE CAUSING MORE AND MORE CONFUSION….CHECK THE CORRUPTION IN THESE INSTITUTION WHEN APPLYING FOR A PASSPORT AND A NATIONAL IDENTITY CARD OR BIRTH CERTIFICATE….THE RELEVANT MINISTER MUST PLANT STATE SECRET AGENCES TO ARREST THE CORRUPT CIVIL SERVANT….WE PAYING A LOT OF MONEY TO OBTAIN THESE DOCUMENT….PLEASE MINISTER CDE MOHADI ASSIST US……..DO YOUR JOB NGOKUZIKHANDLA BABA….

  • comment-avatar
    Dokotela 7 years ago

    I was born in Zimbabwe, grew up and was educated in Zimbabwe, and have worked in Zimbabwe all my life. My mother is Zimbabwean by descent and my father is not, I’m black. Recently, I obtained a copy of my birth certificate, and on the right hand top corner of the duplicate birth certificate, was a stamp which declared that I am not a Zimbabwean citizen by birth. In other words, I am stateless, and this has been my situation for the past 10 years or so. I belong nowhere, my right to be a citizen of my country of birth have been taken away by zanupf, and the new constitution has not made a difference.

  • comment-avatar

    Mugabe himself is not a native (Indegenous) Zimbabwean. Gabriel Mugabe’s father is originally from Malawi.

    Please all you guys try and read Mugabe’s biography.

    Mugabe was brought up under an Irish Roman Catholic Priest.

    • comment-avatar
      Mafuta 7 years ago

      What are you suggesting, Robert could be stripped of Zim citizenship? That would be funny.

  • comment-avatar

    Forget about any changes at the registrar Gen’s offfice they know they stole the vote if they allow Alliens to hve citizenship 2018 is cming they will be introuble opposition gonna start mobilising people to register

  • comment-avatar
    Zvapasipano 7 years ago

    God created that land for all people.who are you to deny others that right her?shame on you.sons and daughters of Zim have been accepted elsewhere and granted citizenship even children of Zanus . We know them . Why are you so cruel and heartless?

  • comment-avatar
    Liberator 7 years ago

    Yes that is very true. Robert Gabriel’s father was called Robert Matibili. He was a janitor at the Kutama mission school in Zvimba. Robert Matibili junior’s mother Bona met Robert Matibili senior at church. They got married. Robert was then adopted by the mission when his Malawian father left them for another wife in Bulawayo. Hence we have other Matibili s in high places within Zanu, its family affairs. The Mugabe surname belongs to her mother. In true dictatorship style, Robert Matibili not only stole the Mugabe surname, but even the Gushungo totem. We true Zimbabweans must also denounce your Zimbabwean citizenship.

  • comment-avatar

    They are clever they are preparing for 2013 elections and believe me, obtaining such documents is going to be very difficulty for the next coming 4 yrs . You will see them faking up giving such at eleventh minute knowing that only a few can access as you all know they manipulate the voter`s roll

  • comment-avatar

    Very unfortunate there is no rebel movement to support.