GOVERNMENT TO COME UP WITH DUAL CITIZENSHIP BILL

MALAWI: CITIZENSHIP/MBC/25/4/18 SABANews 1

President Mutharika meets Queen Elizabeth the Second (Pic. Nyasa Times)

LONDON – MALAWI is working on a proposed law to introduce dual citizenship, under which a person can legally belong to more than ONE nation.

MBC News says President PETER MUTHARIKA has revealed the plan to MALAWIANS living in the BRITISH capital, LONDON.

He says his administration will table the Dual Citizenship Bill when the National Assembly seats in NOVEMBER this year, and the formulation of the proposed law is underway.

The national broadcaster says President MUTHARIKA has been in LONDON for the COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT Meeting.

He has since left the BRITISH capital for SCOTLAND where he has other engagements including an expected to address to the SCOTTISH Parliament.

The current MALAWI Citizenship Act that came into being on SIX JULY 1966 says every person who was a national before the date continues to be a citizen of MALAWI.

It says birth within the territory of the SADC country does not automatically award citizenship, except if ONE is a child born of unknown parents.

However, children born in MALAWI on or after SIX JULY 1966, whose father or mother is a citizen of and is of AFRICAN race also qualifies.

Similarly, a child born abroad on or after SIX JULY 1966, whose parent is a native-born citizen of MALAWI and of AFRICAN race is suitable for the status.

An AFRICAN, or a person with COMMONWEALTH or MALAWIAN ties, resident for FIVE years in the country, with enough knowledge of the ENGLISH language, can also apply.

Nevertheless, the applicant must intend to reside permanently in MALAWI, and will renounce previous citizenship; and, on the other hand, aliens without the national ties must have been resident for SEVEN years.

MALAWI currently does not recognise dual citizenship, but diaspora-born children can maintain dual citizenship until the age of 21, after which the person renounces the other citizenship.

The law says a citizen age 22 or older, who obtains new citizenship through means like marriage has ONE year to declare a desire to retain MALAWIAN citizenship or it will be revoked.

ONE can renounce MALAWIAN citizenship legally, although the State can cancel it for a number of reasons like exercising rights or privileges of another country and other offenses./Sabanews/cam

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