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Dual citizenship clause in the First Draft Constitution has been rejected by delegates of Northern Province

consTHE clause which allows for dual citizenship in the First Draft Constitution has been rejected by delegates to the Northern Province Constitution Convention in Kasama.

Dual citizens can carry two passports and essentially live, work, and travel freely within their native and naturalised countries.

Opposing the clause, Mporokoso district medical officer Tresphord Mulenga said a person with dual citizenship had divided loyalties and Zambians needed to identified with prosperity or woes of their country.

Dr Mulenga said a genuinely patriotic person needed to be identified with only one republic and when issues of national importance arose, it would make it difficult for a dual citizenship holder to offer allegiance to one country and reject the other.

However, Catholic cleric Lombe Bwalya from Kaputa parish said dual citizenship was becoming more common in an increasingly interconnected global economy.

Father Bwalya said dual citizenship had the advantages of broadening a country’s economic base by promoting trade and investment between the dual citizen’s two respective countries.

Many countries are now seeing the advantages of dual citizenship and were liberalizing their citizenship laws.
Father Bwalya said dual citizenship had the advantages of broadening a country’s economic base by promoting trade and investment between the dual citizen’s two respective countries.

Some dual citizens also enjoy the privilege of voting in both countries, owning property in both countries, and having government health care in both countries.

However, when it came to a vote, it was recommended the clause on dual citizenship be removed.

In the Luapula Province convention the dual citizenship clause was retained amid arguments from some delegates including Chief Government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni that the clause should be rejected on patriotic and nationalist grounds.

Debating on the motion, Mr Sakeni urged Zambians to critically look at the issue of dual citizenship and ensure that it was not allowed in Zambia.

“AS Zambians, let us critically look at the issue of dual citizenship and take the interest of the nation at heart. Why do people want to be citizens of other countries in the first place,” Mr Sakeni said.

Labour Deputy Minister Ronald Chitotela said dual citizenship would make it difficult to extradite Zambians who committed crimes if they moved to other countries where they had citizenship.

“Let us denounce dual citizenship because even countries like United Kingdom are having difficulties to extradite criminals,” Labour Deputy Minister Ronald Chitotela said.

Other delegates including former Minister in the MMD, Mwansa Mbulakulima argued that it was important for Zambia to give citizenship to Zambians living in the diaspora to enable them work in other countries.

“Most of the Zambians living in other countries cannot work because of the issue of citizenship hence the need for us to assist them,” he said.

Some delegates, especially from the medical field supported the dual citizenship clause saying it would go a long way in contributing to national development.

The issue of the dress code also raised concern with Pastor Maxwell Luchile saying indecent dressing had even affected the church.

The convention refused to amend the provisions of Article 9(a) to read “morality, descent dressing, Christian values and Ethics”.

The convention however agreed to amend the definition of words minority and marginalised groups in the draft Constitution, under Article 311, to ensure the words did not apply to groups like lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals, gay and prostitutes, which did not reflect on Christian values.

“Let us denounce dual citizenship because even countries like United Kingdom are having difficulties to extradite criminals,” Labour Deputy Minister Ronald Chitotela said.

In Muchinga delegates upheld the Article on death penalty as contained in the first draft constitution.
The delegates reached a tie before going into a secret ballot with 71 votes cast to retain the death penalty and 21 voted against the penalty while 7 people did not vote.

The delegates retained Article 28 sub-section 3 which states that a person may be deprived of life if that person has been convicted of a capital offence and sentenced to death.

A delegate, Victor Mapande said the Article should be carefully examined while Frank Bowa seconded the proposal.
Another delegate Lewis Shikapwasha said the death penalty should be upheld even in a Christian nation as the Bible allows death penalty hence should be retained as a deterrent.

The delegates retained Article 33 (1) which states that a person shall not be held in slavery as contained in the first draft constitution while others suggested that Slavery, Servitude and Forced Labour be redefined.

The delegates amended Article 60 of the draft constitution to state the State shall place affirmation action programmes designed to ensure that socially acceptable minority and marginalized groups, participate and are represented in governance and other spheres of life, are provided with equal opportunity in cultural, political, public service, economic and social activities.

The Article further states that minority and marginalized groups shall be provided special opportunities for access to employment and develop socially acceptable cultural values, languages and practices.

Delegates failed to retain the Article before settling for the secret ballot with a total of 99 votes cast and 33 opting for the Article to be retained in its original form in the first draft constitution while 63 wanted it to be amended.

A Human Rights Commission representative, Kebby Malila informed the delegates that issues related to human rights were not negotiable.

Mr Malila said the rights women should not be subjected to negotiation with their spouses as this compromised the essence of human rights.

“Human rights are not negotiable. Consulting the spouse on rights of the woman would be eroding the foundation of human rights”, he said.

“Human rights are not negotiable. Consulting the spouse on rights of the woman would be eroding the foundation of human rights”, he said.

Delegates retained Article 52 under the Bill of Rights which allows women to have rights to reproductive health and change nationality of their children, access to family planning and related information.

Other Articles in the first draft constitution that were overwhelmingly retained include Freedom of Persons, Protection from inhuman Treatment, Security of Persons, Protection of Privacy of Persons, Home and Property and Communication and Freedom of religion and Conscience.

In Mongu, UPND Senanga MP Likando Mufalali blamed the Technical Committee for the poor turnout of lawmakers at the ongoing Western Province Constitution Convention.

Mr Mufalali said in an interview in Mongu that the Technical Committee had not informed the MPs on time, resulting in a poor turn out.

“The low turn out of MPs is due to the fact that the timing by the Technical Committee, I think, was not communicated to them on time. They (MPs) are attending to Committees right now. Parliamentary Committees have started,” he said.

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12 responses to “Dual citizenship clause in the First Draft Constitution has been rejected by delegates of Northern Province”

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  11. rodrick filaba says:

    fwaka its nt like what u think. learn 2 thnk beyond yo imagination b4 u lucast a thing. by the tym u realise o the country’s resources will have gone 2 some countries. its nt evry 1 hu wud sign 4 dual citizenship hs a heart 4 zambia. come on wake up fwaka.

  12. Fwaka says:

    Is anyone surprised?

    Northern province voted for Sata to the tune of 95%

    Critical analysis seems to elude them that badly,You would be expecting too much to hear them make any rational decisions.

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