Yesterday I had an opportunity to listen to a debate about Dual citizenship for Malawians in the Diaspora on Capital Radio via their website. And I must say I found the debate rather biased as the participants of that particular debate mainly focused on the negative side of allowing this law to pass and were very silence on the positive. My suggestion is that perhaps this debate needed to include those Malawians in the Diaspora or those who have much knowledge about the many Malawi communities in the Diaspora.
We cannot simply sideline Malawians in the Diaspora just because we think;
– Some left Malawi because perhaps they committed crime and fled
– Some fled because of political conflicts
– Some denounced their Malawi citizenships or
– We are simply scared because the West Africans and other foreign nationals might find an opportunity to get Malawi citizenships which in my understanding has to do with the Immigration department and perhaps strengthening its security
And on the other side we ignore the facts such as;
– Some Malawians moved to the Diaspora for labour reasons especially in South Africa where even before the Dr Kamuzu Banda regime, Malawi agreed with the then South African government for labour to be exported to South African mines by Malawi and then in 1964, Dr Kamuzu Banda just continued with this agreement between the two governments, more on this can be found in my â€˜Uniting Malawians in South Africa under the Peopleâ€™s Partyâ€™ statement
– Others went to the Diaspora to visit, do business or study and they simply settled there
In conclusion, as a concerned citizen of Malawi community in the Diaspora my wish is to see more of this debates about Dual Citizenships for us to take place and it would be wonderful if we are invited or much represented in such debates. Because we are talking about communities which have been existing for many generations and we want to clear the way for our children and their childrenâ€™s children to move easily between Malawi and those countries they have found a home in. Malawi Communities in the Diaspora are well established that the best solution for the Malawi government perhaps is to provide this communities with much basic needs which an ordinary citizen of Malawi gets or would love to get.
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