Parliament universally adopts dual citizenship motion

A motion requesting the government to introduce dual citizenship in Botswana was universally adopted in Parliament last week. Yourbotswana commends the government’s swift decision on this matter. No sooner did we report on the plan to have the motion tabled before parliament, than it was universally adopted!

The MP for Francistown South, Mr Wynter Mmolotsi, who tabled the motion on Friday, explained that dual citizenship would have numerous benefits for citizens who also belong to another country.

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) legislator said the benefits included eligibility for employment, economic opportunities and services in the two countries to which they belong.

Mr Mmolotsi said many Batswana born outside the country were currently forced to choose between the citizenship of their countries of birth or Botswana when they reached the age of 21, which disadvantages them. He further stated that children born to one foreign parent also faced the same dilemma.

The MP said;

“There are many people in my constituency who have a Motswana and Zimbabwean parent who face problems when they reach the age of 21. They have their identity cards confiscated if they do not renounce the citizenship of Zimbabwe. They should be allowed to remain citizens of the two countries.

Our economy is constricting and if people were allowed to have a second country they will go there and look for employment. They will then come back and invest their money here and the country will benefit.”

He argued that many progressive nations allowed dual citizenship and that Botswana should do the same.

While agreeing with the idea of introducing dual citizenship, Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Mr Edwin Batshu, unsuccessfully asked for a debate on the motion to be stopped on the basis that he had already tabled an amendment Bill to the Citizenship Act, through which he was proposing for dual citizenship to be introduced in a restrictive way.

Nonetheless, Mr Batshu said his ministry was also worried that the current act forbids Batswana born in other countries and citizens who married foreigners, having dual citizenship.

This development can only bolster the ruling party’s public approval rates. YourBotswana strongly believes the government is doing the right thing, and will no doubt find that going down this route will pay bountiful dividends in the long run.

NB: Watch this space for updates.

What do you think of the government’s swift decision on finally introducing dual citizenship? Do you think this development is enough to influence your political persuasion? Please share your views with YourBotswana.

Source: Daily News

4 years ago

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