Law Commission, stakeholders continue talks on Malawi’s Citizenship Act review

Blantyre, Malawi Law commission on Thursday engaged various stakeholders from Southern Region to solicit views for enriching the review process of the Malawi Citizenship Act so as to conform to the democratic principles.

The workshop held at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre, was attended by various representatives from Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Prison Service, District Councils, Evangelical Association of Malawi, Judiciary and Chancellor College Faculty of Law among others.

Speaking during the meeting, representative of the Chairperson of the Special Law Commission on the review of the Malawi’s Citizenship Act, Reverend Dr.Emmanuel Magangani said the workshop provides an opportunity to the public through stakeholders to input views that will bring the law in tandem with the prevailing international standards.

The Act is in some respect outdated and not in line with the present national democratic and current social realities.

The Act, which was enacted on July 6 in 1966, does not reflect societal needs and demands such as dual citizenship and naturalisation of refugees, to mention a few, said Magangani.

He further urged the stakeholders to actively participate and contribute with what Malawians will need to help the Law Commission fill the gaps under the Citizenship Act.

Neno Magistrate Court representative, Daniel Dzowera welcomed the development, stating that it was high time the authorities started consulting people and implementing the views before coming up with a Law.

Some of the recommendations Dzowera made were formation of a board to oversee and have powers whether to grant or not a citizenship in Malawi.

We have recommended that those who should be granted citizenship should be people who are professionals, those who will contribute to the tax base of the Republic of Malawi and those with no criminal track records from their countries to maximise security in the country, he explained.

The commission is expected to compile the comments and suggestions by the participants from all over the country which will later be presented to Parliament and hope to finalise by February 2020.

Source: MANA Online