Dual citizenship campaign from Zambians in diaspora continues

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The petitions by Zambians in the diaspora for government to constitutionally allow them to have dual citizenship have continued to emerge with the latest coming from those living in Scotland in the United Kingdom.


And government has expressed scepticism on the matter of dual citizens, saying unscrupulous people may abuse the privilege and end up denting the image of the country abroad.


Meanwhile, Zambians living in the United Kingdom have been urged to always have valid documents that allow them to stay in the region.


Scotland-Zambia Partnership (SCOZAP) Chairman, Lazarous Chisela, said allowing Zambians in the diaspora to have dual citizenship would promote their participation in the economic growth of their country of origin.


Mr Chisela pointed out that dual citizenship would enable Zambians abroad to freely apply their skills, knowledge and investment in their country.


He said this in Glasgow yesterday when Vice President, Guy Scott, and Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Paul Lumbi, met Zambians living in Scotland.


Mr Chisela also said Zambia and Scotland should further enhance their already warm relations and consequently increase social and economic benefits for the peoples of the two countries.


He further said Zambians in Scotland were preparing for a huge celebration of the country’s golden jubilee in that nation in October this year.


But Dr Scott said much as government would want to allow its citizens abroad to have dual citizenship, it feared that some crooked people might abuse the privilege thereby putting Zambia at risk of losing its positive image of being an oasis of peace.


“I think we all realise that having just one passport in this time and age is an inconvenience but at the same time there is potential of abuse by citizens concerned,” he said.


He has since appealed to the Zambians in diaspora to understand government’s fears but did not rule out the possibility of allowing them to have dual citizenship.


The Vice President explained that government was studying ways of strict monitoring of the system if dual citizenship was introduced.


And Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Paul Lumbi, has warned Zambians in the region against staying there without valid passports and other relevant documents.


 Mr Lumbi said his mission staffs were always ready to process relevant documents for Zambians in order for them to stay in the UK freely.


“I know some of you are living here illegally because your passports have expired. I appeal to you to get the right documents and live here legally,” he said.


There are over 1,000 Zambians living in Scotland.


Meanwhile, Dr Scott earlier in the day attended a meeting on sustainable trade and investment: trade plus aid which was held at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow.


Dr Scott, who was one of the panellists in one of the discussions, said poor lending conditions by banks in Africa were hampering the growth of infrastructural development in many countries of the continent.


He said countries in the west have developed because of favourable lending terms and conditions to individuals and companies that want to invest in infrastructure.


He noted that financial lending institutions in most African countries were demanding high interest rates on loans over and short loan repayment period.


Dr Scott is in Scotland where he witnessed the official opening of the 20th Commonwealth Games at Celtic park in Glasgow on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.


Zambia has 43 athletes representing her at this year’s Commonwealth games.