Dual citizenship good for business

Isabel Kachinda at her tailoring shop in Bwafwano market, which she has built up thanks to business
Isabel Kachinda at her tailoring shop in Bwafwano market, which she has built up thanks to business

LEGALIZING dual citizenship will permit many Zambians domiciled in other countries to freely return home and invest, says Mbunda spokesperson Kennedy Mubanga.

Mr Mubanga said President Edgar Lungu should be praised because of his consideration for the citizens who in the past feared to return home and face the Immigration Department for the offense of obtaining foreign citizenship without renouncing the Zambian one. He said the clause under discussion was an advantage as Zambians would draw from this piece of legislation chances to open any business undertaking in other countries.

“Like for example in Angola, the law requires that they go into partnership with a bonafide holder of the Angolan national identity card called the ‘Bilhete de Identidade’ issued only to Angolan citizens, and  those who have attempted in the past to go into partnership with indigenous Angolan nationals have soon discovered that the Angolan partner became a mere sleeping partner while the Zambian partner did everything but shared the proceeds at 50/50.”

Mr Mubanga said even though  opponents of the proposal have cited reasons such as abetting criminal activities, the unchanging truth was that once one was a criminal then they were criminal with or without the clause permitting dual citizenship. “We wish to register our sincere gratitude to Government and most importantly the National Assembly of Zambia for enacting an amendment to the Republican Constitution legalizing dual citizenship for Zambian citizens,” he said.

He said with the enactment of the dual citizenship clause into law, Zambians who wished to do business in neighbouring countries like Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia may simply look to fellow Zambians who have roots in those countries and therefore eligible to hold citizenship of the country of interest.

“Therefore those condemning Government for the piecemeal amendments of the Republican Constitution should simply own up and admit that in terms of constitutional development, Zambia is no longer at the same place as it has been since the last constitutional amendments of 1996,” he said.

Mr Mubanga called on the Head of State to assent to the Bills expeditiously in the first week of January 2016 without delay as any petition against the presidential assent goes against the spirit of the district and provincial conferences and the national convention that gave birth to the final Draft Constitution.