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Monday, 11 May 2009

Dual Citizenship Revisited (Guest Blog)

As the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) in Zambia has started convening in plenary sessions, some issues seem to have dominated the news in the local media – such as the issue of dual citizenship.

There seems to be general consensus among supporters of dual citizenship who cite the remittances of funds made by Ghanaians, Indians and Kenyans, among others, who are in the Diaspora to their native countries as a benefit of such citizenship. However, the remittances of funds to kith and kin in one’s native country have nothing to do with dual citizenship. It is a familial obligation one has to assume whether one is a dual citizen or otherwise.

With respect to investment, any Zambian who has money to invest in his or her native country can do so without any hindrance, and without dual citizenship! In short, investment in Zambia is open to any individual irrespective of his or her nationality.

I have personally not discerned any worthwhile benefits of dual citizenship that proponents have continued to sing about, apart from personal benefits like gaining access to Food Stamps and Medicaid in the United States, for example.

Dual Citizenship Should Be Adopted

There is no harm to Zambia if the National Constitutional Conference were to adopt Article 26 (Part V) of the Mung’omba Constitutional Review Commission’s recommendation on dual citizenship, which reads as follows:

(1) A citizen, by birth, shall not lose that citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country.

(2) A person who, before the commencement of this Constitution, acquired the citizenship of another country and as a result ceased to be a Zambian citizen as specified in clause (1), is entitled, on application, to regain the citizenship.

However, such a proviso needs to have a clause added that would have the following restriction, which countries worldwide which provide for dual citizenship have generally added to the proviso:

“No citizen of Zambia shall qualify to be elected to, or appointed as a holder of, any of the following offices if he or she holds the citizenship of any other country in addition to the citizenship of Zambia: Republican President, Republican Vice President, Member of Parliament, Chief Justice, Justice of the Supreme Court, Minister, Deputy Minister, Governor, Mayor, Ambassador or High Commissioner, Secretary to the Cabinet, Chief of Defense Staff or any security service, Inspector-General of Police, Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Director of Immigration Service, Commissioner of Value-Added Tax Service, Director-General of the Prison Service, Chief Fire Officer, Chief Director in a Ministry, Director of a Government Agency, the rank of a Colonel in the Army or its equivalent in the other security services, or any other public office that Parliament may by legislative instrument prescribe.

This restriction would somewhat reduce any concerns relating to national security and sovereignty. Such concerns are not completely unfounded, considering the fact that foreign governments that have ill intentions would find it more appropriate to use native Zambians to get back to their homeland and engage in unpalatable activities (such as spying) on their behalf.

It Is Not a Human Rights Issue!

Dual citizenship is really not a human rights issue, as some Zambians have been claiming recently. The rights and freedoms of individuals enshrined in the 30 Articles of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 68 Articles of the African Union’s African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights are silent on the issue of dual citizenship.

It is, however, important to note that the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides for the following rights in Article 15: (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Henry Kyambalesa (Guest Blogger)
Agenda for Change

31 comments:

  1. Thanks Henry, and Cho for making this available. I am not a typical case but ... I am British, born in the UK and caucasian (if that's relevant). I am married to a Zambian, lived in Zambia for 23 years, gave birth and raised my kids in Zambia, currently resident in UK and working on thebestofzambia.com, but planning to retire to Zambia. I have a Zambian entry visa. I really want to get Zambian citizenship but without forsaking my British citizenship. Not sure how many others like me....

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  2. Julia,

    There are plenty. There are many people in that situation. Unfortunately.

    Zambia Diaspora Connect is pushing very hard for Dual Citizenship and are making high level presentation to make it happen.

    I am confident this will be done.

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  3. The main advantage of dual citizenship I think, is the ability to travel to Zambia without the hassle of getting a visa, and to stay there as long as one wishes without having to bother to get visa renewals. If there are no other problems such as taxation issues, a lot of people I think would be interested in getting it.

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  4. Zambia only stands to gain by allowing dual citizenship, there is nothing sinister about dual nationality or nothing so specail about it. For Zambia this is the way forward, the Zambian youth all in the diaspora have a weatlth of knowlege, attitudes and experience to share, why not use all this for the growth of the country. Also how many elders outside Zambia long to go home to live their last years - imagine how much wealth they will bring back with them. We need to move forward and this is certainly one way.

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  5. The case being sold by pro Dual Citizenship troops to NCC is dubitable and weak. Be it here or those I have heard advocating it, the case is weak to pass through debate stage. Has it taken Dual citizenship for those that lived and educated themselves in the Diaspora such as late Mazoka, Chikwanda, Chigaga, Penza, Aka, RB, and Mung'omba, to mention but a few to contribute to the nation?

    Does it have to take Dual citizenship to build your parents a descent retirement home, send orphans to school or develop your property the Ministry of lands gave you? We expect the Diaspora to have a smart case than what we have been reading so far. This case is very weak and will not sale at the citizenship committee of the NCC.

    Hope someone is not burning his money tripping or camping hoping to see this hollow proposition pass. Basing the arguments followed so far, it’s a dead shallow case. Retain your citizenship or lose it. You have the option of renewing your permanent residence papers wherever you are now and retain Zambian citizenship if you treasure it. Even in Zambia we do have permanent residents with record of renewing their status for more 43 years now. Not all entrepreneurs in the country are citizens. We do have Jews, Americans, Indians, and Ugandans etc. If you have already renounced Zambian citizenship or plan to do so, it’s a respected choice you have made out of disdain of choice.

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  6. "Zambia only stands to gain" Quote

    "Zambian youth all in the diaspora have a weatlth of knowlege, attitudes and experience to share" Quote

    "many elders outside Zambia long to go home to live their last years - imagine how much wealth they will bring back with them" Quote Anonymous

    COMMENTS

    Just look at such dubitable arguments.Where are the smart and mature Diasporans to frame and sale a winning case? If the Diaspora is taking on such arguments as winning case, then jockers are in charge of deception.When presenting a case be aware that those people on the panel taking the petition also lived and got educated in the Diaspora but opted returning home.There is nothing they don't know about the Diaspora that you know.They understand why you are struggling to argue your case intelligently with convincing depth.

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  7. I'll give you short crisp points which are facts, but whether they are facts in your eyes and analytical, wise mind is up to you.

    1. My retirement age here in the US is at 62, I have already put in a good 18 years of work and I have about 9 years to go.

    Why does this matter? Well I have been contributing to Social Security which will mature at my retirement age. For it to continually get bigger, I have to continue contributing to it...by working. At that age, I can be able to draw around $3,500 per month. That is peanuts in the US, but tell me about Zambia?

    Although I'm fully vested in my company sponsored pension plan, I would gain more if I keep working for more years. Pension + Social Security would be a nice sum

    My health needs good medication, and my health insurance pays for my monthly $700 bill, another two years and I'm off medication

    My 401K needs beefing up, so I need to work for some more years...this is added to the prior sum. Nice eh?

    When I finally retire, I will be able to be drawing on all these funds and use the money in Zambia!!!

    There's really nothing Zambia can offer me, other than the fact that it is my home. Period.
    And would rather be aged among my kin than in a home.

    A misconception Zambians have is that, the diaspora lives on welfare. You need to know the US better to say things like these. It is a capitalistic society, one has to toil to survive.

    I talked to a Zambian minister once, and how he replied me totally took me aback. He said and I quote "we can not allow you to have the best of two worlds". I may be wrong, but I detected a tinge of jealousy. I think your side is not reasoning.

    It is, however, unstopable. It may not happen now, but when the current breed is dead, it shall come to pass. Other countries that have allowed D/Citizenship are much better off than Northern Rhodesia with its best city being Lusaka!

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  8. Kafue,

    "The main advantage of dual citizenship I think, is the ability to travel to Zambia without the hassle of getting a visa, and to stay there as long as one wishes without having to bother to get visa renewals."Agreed!

    H. Kyambalesa's argument is flawed in dismissing that point altogether. He's totally ignored the psychological effect on people that are having to face daunting immigration officials, or whatever, just to go about normal life that they once used to without hassle. he could have at least given it some weight.

    There're also the Julia Browns of this world, as we've heard above.

    Lest we forget, this dual-citizenship ban, like many others, was introduced by the then President FTJ, on very flimsy grounds of national security. At the time, he was embroiled in a fierce and shameful political battle with rival former President KK, and this law was brought in as a blunt instrument to deal with KK, whom he accused of being a Malawian!

    The law on dual-citizenship and "denial of bail for those accused of car theft", were some of the ugly products of FTJ's malice and vengefulness on political and even "social" rivals. Let's not pretend about that!

    People ought to remember this when defending these otherwise nonsensical laws.

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  9. Zedian,

    Yes, unless there is a strong military or political rivalry between the countries concerned, this issue should not be viewed in political terms. Rather it should be seen as a practical everyday living situation issue. With less hassles, more of the diaspora will visit Zambia.

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  10. "There's really nothing Zambia can offer me, other than the fact that it is my home. Period".End quote

    Anonymous mashina,

    I think this is lamentable failure to reason, argue your case, or rise above chauvinism evident in you. I thought you would explicate why Dual citizenship should be condoned, but instead you have gone on a spoilage braze of sincere advocates with your prejudice against those courageous Zambians who have opted to return home and serve the country.

    Do you really see any substance in your story about 401K and health issues as winning arguments for Dual citizenship adoption? I respect your 18 years of Diaspora service but left embarrassed with your reasoning. FYI, I’m in the USA and privileged to be in Corporate America with one of the biggest and successful Corporations you can think of. I have American born children I dearly love yet I don’t see reason why this Dual Citizenship should be condoned in our constitution.

    My kids are free to visit Zambia, settle in Zambia, and do business in Zambia like many other are doing. I can give you a list of Children Zambians have with Americans who have opted to settle and do business in Zambia though without right to Plot one job. In the same vein I have very good economic interest from 401K to other securities yet believe my Zambian citizenship is Golden to renounce.

    Don’t tell us that a Green card cannot keep you in America until you opt to follow your umbilical cord. And if Zambia is useless, why do you want to retain citizenship? It’s a paradox.Take care of your health challenges and peace to you.

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  11. I am British. My spouse is Zambian. Our daughter is British AND Zambian. Zambian Immigration may declare that she can only be one legally, but culturally and practically, she is both. That is the truth.

    What are the advantages of dual citizenship? Not great, at least not for Zambia as a nation. I doubt it will noticeably increase the Diaspora’s sharing of “knowledge, attitudes and experience” or prompt more to return to the old-country in their later years.

    The benefits are for the individuals in the Diaspora: the countless small conveniences when dealing with the respective bureaucracies (such as being able to visit cousins in your other homeland without going through the hoops of visa applications), and the sense of acceptance.

    The sceptics may view the case for dual citizenship to be weak, but it is still compelling because the case against it is non-existent. Why should my daughter, and others with inexorable links with Zambia and another country, be forced to make the false choice of which country is better?

    I hope the NCC take up Mung’omba’s recommendation and remove this spiteful ban.

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  12. "The benefits are for the individuals in the Diaspora" Quote

    Dear Dominic,

    You can never be more courageous than this way and I quote, "The benefits are for the individuals in the Diaspora". The issue is too weak to sell through reason. Personal interest cannot take precedence over national interest. In War Colleges, they teach that its better to spread many down than risking the nation. On this issue, its better to let go those who think Zambia is useless than having them around.

    If one has renounced Zambian citizenship, why give it to him again? Your children like my gorgeous ones here are at liberty to choose their own citizenship or permanent residence.

    I can assure you leaders there know what motivates you to call for a dual citizenship. They know if you can pay allegiance to the country or the spirit of mammon (money). Look at the home affairs minister Dr. Mwansa. He is a PHD holder who like many of us spent his share of time in the Diaspora but chose home as his calling place of service. Good luck with your British citizenship.

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  13. “Personal interest cannot take precedence over national interest.”

    Where is the national interest in denying dual citizenship?

    Can you not see that asking someone to chose between their motherland and their fatherland is as impossible as asking someone to chose between their mother and father? Open your mind and see the possibility that you can love and have allegiance to both.

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  14. Going back to the origins of this law, can anyone give any figures as to the number of threats to national security that have actually been thwarted as a result?

    On the other side, however, there're loads of law-abiding people being unduly inconvenienced by this ban.

    In my opinion, this law is not serving the purpose for which it was ostensibly intended, but rather, inconveniencing a not insignificant group of people and therefore must be reconsidered.

    Moreover, this piece of legislation is open to abuse, as evidenced by some high profile cases of actual and attempted deportations we saw in the FTJ as well as LPM eras.

    There're probably other laws that could be used in dealing with the perceived threat.

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  15. Another option is to do what India did, which is to establish an "Overseas Citizenship of India." This is not the same as dual citizenship but has some very good benefits:

    http://www.immihelp.com/nri/dual.html

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  16. Dominic,

    My brother, with all space here, I regret to say you have lamentably failed to clear the dubitable argument for Dual Citizenship. No one is a forcing folk who wittingly renounce their citizenship for a foreign one.

    I know the process of taking another country citizenship and can assure you if you are not one, be informed that there is no element of patriotism in the oath of allegiance it demands of you to take citizenship.

    You are made to pledge allegiance to the constitution and the flag you are taking citizen for. Do you really know what that implies or indeed the duty of a new citizen though cannot vie for the Executive office?

    Choose Zambia or come and apply for permanent residence status. No one will hassle you on right of stay, business or visiting your siblings. Give me one person who has been chased on visiting his village or parents after he naturalized somewhere else. None.

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  17. Anonymous,

    I am not sure either of us is getting each others point. So here is mine again, as succinctly as I can manage:

    The pros of dual citizenship are admittedly minor, but the cons are nonexistent, so in the scales of reason dual citizenship wins.

    Incidentally, current Zambian law does force children of mixed nationality parents to choose one nationality over the other, despite neither being “foreign”.

    Also, dual citizenship does operate successfully and smoothly in most countries of the world, and does not always prohibit executive office: in the US, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger retains his Austrian citizenship; in the UK, a Zambian can stand to be an MP, even without British citizenship, provided they are resident; and in Canada, former Prime Minister John Turner had dual citizenship with the UK.

    There is an interesting article on Wikipedia which debunks many of the ‘issues’ of multiple citizenship: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_citizenship

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  18. @ Dominic, in contrast Australia does not allow permanent residents to vote, only citizens are allowed, so which is which?

    Well seeing that the driving force the desire for a equal and an unfettered to access to Zambia... ...

    why not guarantee anyone with 'ZAMBIAN HERITAGE' holding another nationality, automatic permanent residency rights/ indifinate leave to remain in Zambia as opposed to automatic citizenship, for a starters as a compromise.

    In my opinion that would allay any fears or mistrust of the 'returnees', not only so, as in the Australian example cited it would be easy for the govt to keep a tab on returnees and where need be residency canbe withdrawn.

    I know Pakistan though not the best of places guarantees such for anyone of their heritage.

    What would be the merits or demerits of such?

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  19. Zedian,

    I do not believe that providing for Dual Citizenship in the Zambian constitution would allow you to hold two passports and absolve you from applying for visas as you travel back and forth. The idea is that you will be accepted back as a Zambian citizen if you decide to ditch your new country.

    Dominic,

    Dual citizenship, as the United States Immigration Support has noted, is essentially not something that can be applied for; it occurs automatically to some individuals. For example, a child who is born in the United States to foreign parents has United States dual citizenship since the child is automatically a citizen of the United States and a citizen of his or her parents’ home country. This also applies to children of United States citizens born abroad where the child is both a United States citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.

    The same situation applies to Zambia, where Article 5 of the 1996 Republican constitution reads as follows: "A person born in or outside Zambia after the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen of Zambia at the date of his birth if on that date at least one of his parents is a citizen of Zambia."

    This proviso is likely to remain intact in the new Zambian constitution, whether or not the Dual Citizenship clause I have cited in my contribution above is adopted.

    Countries worldwide generally provide for such dual citizenship, although there is the potential of loss or cession of such citizenship for a variety of reasons. In the United States (U.S.), for example, Section 349 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act specifies several conditions under which U.S. citizenship may be lost. They include the following:

    (a) Becoming a naturalized citizen of another country, or declaring allegiance to another country, after reaching age 18;

    (b) Serving as an officer in a foreign country’s military service, or serving in the armed forces of a country which is engaged in hostilities against the U.S.;

    (c) Working for a foreign government (for example, in political office or as a civil servant);

    (d) Formally renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship before duly authorized U.S. officials; or

    (e) Committing treason against, or attempting or conspiring to overthrow the government of, the U.S.

    In Zambia, similarly, Article 9 of the 1996 Republican constitution has stipulated conditions for cession of Zambian citizenship as follows:

    (a) A citizen of Zambia shall cease to be such a citizen if at any time he acquires the citizenship of a country other than Zambia by a voluntary act other than marriage or does any act indicating his intention to adopt or make use of such citizenship; and

    (b) A person who (i) becomes a citizen of Zambia by registration; and (ii) is, immediately after he becomes a citizen of Zambia, also a citizen of some other country shall ... cease to be a citizen of Zambia at the expiration of three months after he becomes a citizen of Zambia unless he has renounced the citizenship of that other country, taken the oath of allegiance and made and registered such declaration of his intention concerning residence as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament.

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  20. kush,

    That is the point i have long been expecting to hear from Dominic.If the fear is about entry to Zambia, permanent residence serves the purpose unless the reasons are beyond open forum discourse.

    None of the pro dual citizenship activits seems to have a winning argument.

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  21. Anon,

    Can you explain for the benefit of productive dialogue why YOU think the costs of dual citizenship to Zambia outweigh the benefits?

    I'll then explain to you why I have concluded that it is the opposite.

    To have a productive discuss we should all share the burden of proof.

    Also, please find a way of atleast using a fake name or location. I normally don't respond to anonymous comments because it is hard to distinguish who is saying what. You exchange with another Anon is a case in point.

    Thanks!

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  22. In my mind a provision for dual citizenship is all about the ability to hold two passports! All those I have known with dual citizenship have had two passports. Allowing people to switch back there nationality is a (slightly) different matter – the “dual” in “dual citizenship” is absent.

    Some have surmised that my desire on a personal level is for equal and unfettered access. They are correct. However, my concern is not access to Zambia for foreign nationals, but access to the rest of the world for Zambian nationals! Currently residing in the UK, it is annoying to book appointments months in advance and travel half-way across the country, with all the time and expense that involves, to get a Schengen visa to hop across the English Channel and travel to France for the day. If Zambia allowed dual citizenship, then my daughter could just get a British passport without losing her Zambian citizenship (under para a of article 9), and move freely throughout the EU. Similarly, when we move to Zambia, she would be able to travel back to the UK without the time, expense and humiliation of applying for visas at the British High Commission in Lusaka (which I am sure many readers of this blog will have had to suffer). These are the kinds of “small conveniences” to which I referred in my original comment.

    I am increasingly getting the impression that much of the opposition to the idea of dual citizenship is directed towards people who have renounced there Zambian citizenship being allowed to reclaim it – resentment towards Zambia’s prodigal sons and daughters! Please can we see that, to a large extent, these are transitional issues (that might be better handled by statutes outside of the constitution?), while the constitution needs to be written with the long term in mind if it is going to stand the test of time. ‘Former Zambians’ are not the only ones affected by the issue, let us remember future Zambians might benefit as well through improved opportunities.

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  23. HK,

    Your argument thus far is that the pro-Dual Citizenship camp have weak arguments and therefore the status-quo should be sustained. That does not hold water, am afraid.

    What I have asked is for people on your side of the argument to go back to the origins of the law in question, tell us what it was intended to achieve, and if it has achieved any of it, if it will ever achieve any of the intended goals, and why you think having such a law has/will benefit anyone and if so who?

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  24. Zedan,

    As I have indicated above, I am actually advocating for the passage of Article 26 (Part V) of the Mung’omba Constitutional Review Commission’s recommendation on dual citizenship, which reads as follows:

    (1) A citizen, by birth, shall not lose that citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country.

    (2) A person who, before the commencement of this Constitution, acquired the citizenship of another country and as a result ceased to be a Zambian citizen as specified in clause (1), is entitled, on application, to regain the citizenship.

    However, such a proviso needs to have a clause added that would have the following restriction, which countries worldwide which provide for dual citizenship have generally added to the proviso:

    “No citizen of Zambia shall qualify to be elected to, or appointed as a holder of, any of the following offices if he or she holds the citizenship of any other country in addition to the citizenship of Zambia: Republican President, Republican Vice President, Member of Parliament, Chief Justice, Justice of the Supreme Court, Minister, Deputy Minister, Governor, Mayor, Ambassador or High Commissioner, Secretary to the Cabinet, Chief of Defense Staff or any security service, Inspector-General of Police, Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Director of Immigration Service, Commissioner of Value-Added Tax Service, Director-General of the Prison Service, Chief Fire Officer, Chief Director in a Ministry, Director of a Government Agency, the rank of a Colonel in the Army or its equivalent in the other security services, or any other public office that Parliament may by legislative instrument prescribe.”

    This restriction is intended to resolve the following issues:

    1) It would function as a preventive measure against technical and professional personnel who are likely to seek citizenship in foreign countries in pursuit of a higher standard of living, and eventually return home to seek a reputable job. In other words, provision for dual citizenship without this restriction is bound to promote the brain drain. Zambia is not likely to attain meaningful levels of economic growth, development and competitiveness without large pools of the technical and professional personnel who decide to migrate to foreign countries.

    2) It would somewhat reduce any concerns relating to national security. Such concerns are not completely unfounded, considering the fact that foreign governments that have ill intentions would find it more appropriate to use native Zambians to get back to their homeland and engage in unpalatable activities (such as spying) on their behalf.

    But as I have argued before on this blog, it is important to understand that there are obligations and not only benefits that are associated with being a dual citizen. It, for example, means that a person has to obey the laws of both countries, including paying taxes and serving in the military, if required by any of the countries of which he or she is a citizen.

    There are caveats we can draw from Principles of Management and the Holy Bible in this regard. According to the principle of Unity of Command, each and every person should report, or be answerable, to only one superior (or country) at any given time to forestall the potential for conflicting directives (laws and regulations).

    From Matthew 6:24 in the Holy Bible, we can learn the following: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other.”

    An obvious problem would, for example, arise if two countries of which a person is a citizen are in a conflict. Would he or she side with one of the countries against his or her people in the other country?

    Besides, a person cannot claim to be a patriot when he or she pledges allegiance to two or more countries. Love of one’s country of birth is perhaps one of the important reasons why some Zambians have lived and worked in foreign countries without seeking citizenship in such countries.

    ANTI-IMMIGRANT SENTIMENTS:

    There is perhaps no country in the world today that does not have people among its citizens, community leaders and government officials who harbor anti-immigrant sentiments due to racism, xenophobia, nationalism, and/or high levels of unemployment in their respective countries. Emigrants, therefore, encounter various forms of discrimination in their host countries.

    In the ensuing paragraphs, let me briefly explore some of the serious cases of discrimination (which would-be emigrants and their native countries need to be aware of) in selected regions and countries of the world – that is, in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, the European Union, member-countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and Latin America.

    Australia:
    In Greg Barns’ view, Australia is a backwater, a racist and inward-looking country that turns its back on adventure and the opportunity to do better; a country that has rejected leaders who provide the chance for a multiracial, multicultural and independent nation to prosper in the Asia-Pacific region where it is. He believes the country has become a pigsty, where “The majority of voters have succumbed either to materialism or to the underbelly of their soul, an underbelly that gives free rein to fear, racism and xenophobia.”

    However, racist expressions in Australian popular culture have changed over time as Australian society has become more diverse with continuing immigration; racist language and attitudes that were common at the end of the 19th century are no longer acceptable one hundred years later, although they have continued to find expression in new ways, reinforced through the popular media. It consists of pervasive cultural assumptions where the customs, beliefs and attitudes of the dominant class in society are presented as the norm; as a result, the status and behavior of minority groups, particularly those who are more visibly different, are defined and judged with respect to the dominant group of largely British and Celtic backgrounds.

    Canada:
    In November 1994, the Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration introduced the Federal government’s Long-Term Immigration and Citizenship Strategy (LTICS), which fine-tuned the country’s policy designed to “protect Canadians and Canadian health and social welfare programs” from the burden of refugees and immigrants. Fundamental to the LTICS was the development of policies and procedures for the detention and deportation of people who did not qualify for Canadian citizenship.

    According to the Canadian Council for Refugees, racism and discrimination are part of the Canadian reality; they are manifested at the personal level in the way individuals are sometimes treated. And they are also manifested at the systemic level through the functioning of government bodies. Moreover, they are manifested through immigration policies that have a differential impact on racial groups, or lead to discrimination against newcomers.

    Ireland:
    Many Irish people do not accept immigrants, and this is especially true for black immigrants, who come mostly from West African countries like Nigeria. Manifestations of anti-immigrant attitudes and racism came to light in 2004 with a story indicating that in the north Dublin suburb of Balbriggan, a town of more than 10,000 people with two elementary schools, all the reported 90 or so children who could not find a school to attend were black kids. They ended up attending a new, all-black school within Dublin established to cater for them.

    Japan:
    According to the International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), there is racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia in Japan – the effects of which are felt by the following groups of people: (a) the national minorities – the Buraku people, the Ainu and the people of Okinawa; (b) individuals and descendants of people from former Japanese colonies -- Korea and China; and (c) foreigners and migrants from other Asian countries and from the rest of the world.

    In July 2005, a United Nations special rapporteur on discrimination and racism condemned the government for its failure to integrate these groups of people into mainstream Japanese society.

    Russia:
    According to Amnesty International’s 2006 report, racially-motivated killings, beatings and discrimination are on the increase in the Russian Federation, and the country’s government has failed to sufficiently contain xenophobia and intolerance against the following groups of people: foreign students; asylum-seekers and refugees from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America; members of ethnic groups and migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia; and members of the Jewish community and Roma.

    According to the Sova Information Analytical Center (a Russian information center), 28 people were murdered and 366 assaulted on racial grounds in 2005.

    Federal authorities have apparently failed to prevent racially motivated attacks through adequate policing, and to investigate and prosecute the vast majority of such attacks effectively. Amnesty International’s Secretary General has reacted to the racially motivated attacks in the following words: “The state has a responsibility to protect the human rights of all people on its territory – regardless of the color of their skin. They must challenge and bring to justice those who violate them. It is time for the Russian authorities to address the country’s deteriorating human rights record and live up to their international obligations if they seek to be international players.”

    South Africa:
    By and large, South Africans are not tolerant of outsiders living in their country. There is strong support in the country for policies that would place strict limits on or prohibit immigration altogether. Nearly 80 percent of citizens, for example, favor a total ban or very strict limits on immigration. One in five of the country’s citizens actually feel that everyone from neighboring countries living in South Africa (legally or otherwise) should be deported.

    Such intolerance by the country’s citizens is rooted in the belief that immigration impacts unfavorably on their country. Nearly 60 percent of them, for example, believe that immigrants “weaken” their society and the economy, while over 60 percent of them believe that immigrants put a strain on their country’s resources. Specifically, the major reasons for their opposition to lax immigration policies include fears of admittance of criminal immigrants into the country, loss of jobs to immigrants, economic sabotage by immigrants, and the spread of infectious diseases from immigrants’ native countries – the same arguments advanced by those who oppose immigration in other countries worldwide.

    Attitudes towards immigration in South Africa have also hardened over the years; between 1995 and 1999, for example, support for a highly restrictive immigration policy increased from 65 to 78 percent, while that for a policy that would tie immigration to job availability in the country declined dramatically from 29 percent in 1995 to only 12 percent in 1999.

    Extensive research by the Southern African Migrancy Program has shown that South Africa, Botswana and Namibia are amongst the most xenophobic countries in the world, and that South Africans hold by far the harshest anti-immigrant sentiments, especially against blacks. Such anti-immigrant (and anti-refugee) sentiments cut across all major demographic categories; that is, young and old, black and white, and both educated and uneducated citizens.

    Switzerland:
    During 2007, Switzerland’s right-wing government funded a television advertising campaign in Africa that depicted Africans begging and being arrested in Europe in an attempt to deter would-be immigrants from traveling to the Continent in search of work and a better future. The advertisements, which aired on prime-time television in Nigeria and Cameroon, showed African immigrants in Europe living in asylum camps, begging on the streets, and being arrested by the police.

    The European Union:
    Nearly one out of every three European Union (EU) citizens describe themselves as ‘quite racist’ or ‘very racist’, according to an opinion survey conducted at the end of 1997’s European Year Against Racism. One in five also agrees with the view that all non-EU immigrants should be sent back to their country of origin.

    20 percent of respondents in the survey agreed with the following statement: All immigrants, whether legal or illegal, from outside the EU and their children, even those born here, should be sent back to their country of origin.

    The survey tried to identify the causes of the hostility against immigrants. Many of those who admitted to racist feelings said were dissatisfied with their life circumstances and feared losing their jobs. Most felt insecure about the future and/or had experienced a downturn in their personal circumstances.

    And National Focal Point (NFP) reports include some reference to violent and aggressive acts against ethnic minority and foreign groups by public officials, namely, the police or immigration officers. Abuse of power by agents of EU member-states against vulnerable ethnic minorities and foreigners, who are sometimes identified as minors in the NFP reports, can be considered as ‘aggravating factors’ that add to the seriousness of violent racist incidents.

    OSCE Countries:
    Racist and xenophobic violence are reported to have risen in several of the 56 countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2007, including Finland, Ireland, the Slovak Republic, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Over a longer period of time (between 2000 and 2006), 8 OSCE countries experienced an upward trend in recorded racist crime; that is, Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Slovakia, Finland, and the United Kingdom.

    Information from non-governmental monitors provides evidence of rising levels of racist violence in 2007 in Greece, Italy, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, and Ukraine. However, available figures may only be the tip of the iceberg. Media and non-governmental organization (NGO) surveys suggest that cases of violence do not generally get reported to or recorded by the police.

    Immigrants of African origin, regardless of their citizenship status, were subjected to some of the most persistent and serious attacks, and were among the principal victims of racist and xenophobic violence in both Europe and North America. A series of incidents involving hangman’s nooses and burning crosses have served as a reminder that racist intimidation and other hate crimes against African-Americans have remained to be a serious problem – and that African Americans have continued to be the largest group targeted in hate-crime violence in the United States.

    In the most extreme examples of the new anti-immigrant discourse in Europe, immigrant groups have become scapegoats for social ills ranging from crime to unemployment. In the United States, debates on immigration have polarized society and provided the backdrop for a surge in reported violent assaults against people of Hispanic origin, both citizens and immigrants.

    Latin America:
    Discrimination and xenophobia in modern Latin America is directed against immigrants from within the region itself because they are seen by locals as a threat to employment or simply because they are poor. Argentina is the region’s standout case, as it has continued to be an important destination of Latin American workers, particularly those coming from Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru.

    Peruvians, Paraguayans and Bolivians currently represent some 80 percent of the foreigners living in Argentina, which is still the main destination of South American emigrants despite its economic crises and high unemployment, which stands at 16.7% of the country’s economically active population.

    CONCLUSION:

    There are many factors obtaining in Zambia which have contributed to the desire among some Zambians to seek citizenship in other countries. They include poor conditions of service, potential human rights abuses, nepotism and favoritism, disregard for local talent, scarcity of jobs, limited access to education, poor healthcare services, a high level of crime, and the fear of losing valued relationships developed in host countries.

    If we can work hard in improving the standard of living in Zambia, it would be easy to keep our people at home so that they would travel to other countries only as tourists, or to pursue programs of study. There is a lot Zambian leaders can do in this regard so that citizens can choose to stay within Zambia instead of trotting around the world in search of a better life and, in the process, experiencing dehumanizing levels of racism, xenophobia and discrimination.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Amnesty International, “Russian Federation: Racism and Xenophobia Rife in Russian Society,” http://www.amnesty.org/, May 4, 2006.
    Barns, Greg, “Australia—A Racist Backwater,” Online Opinion—Australia’s E-Journal of Social and Political Debate: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/, December 22, 2005.
    Canadian Council for Refugees, “Report on Systemic Racism and Discrimination in Canadian Refugee and Immigration Policies,” http://www.ccrweb.ca/, November 1, 2000.
    Crush, Jonathan, Series Editor, “Immigration, Xenophobia and Human Rights in South Africa,” Southern African Migration Project: Migration Policy Series Number 22.
    Department of Education and Training, “Racism, No Way!: Understanding Racism,” http://www.racismnoway.com.au/, January 20, 2009.
    European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, “Racism and Xenophobia in the EU Member States: Trends, Developments and Good Practice,” http://eumc.eu.int/, Annual Report (2005), Part 2, p. 90.
    Hassan-Gordon, Tariq, “Canada’s Immigration Policy—Detention and Deportation of Non-Europeans,” Anti-Colonial Action Alliance: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/, September 14, 1996.
    Human Rights First, “Racism and Xenophobia: Fighting Discrimination—Executive Summary,” http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/, December 26, 2008.
    IMADR (International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism), “Combating Social Discrimination in Japan,” http://www.imadr.org/, January 20, 2009.
    IMADR, “Overcoming ‘Marginalization’ and ‘Invisibility’: Towards the Realization of a Multicultural Society Free of Prejudice and Discrimination,” http://www.imadr.org/, March 7, 2006.
    Jacobs, Sean, “What’s Behind the Murder and Violence against ‘Foreigners’ in S. Africa?” Africa Is a Country: http://theleoafricanus.com/, May 19, 2008.
    McNeill, David, “The Diene Report on Discrimination and Racism in Japan,” http://www.zmag.org/, April 9, 2006.
    Paterson, Tony, “Come over Here and You Will Be Miserable, Swiss Government Adverts Warn Africans,” The Independent (Print Edition): http://www.independent.co.uk/, November 29, 2007.
    Rachel’s Tavern, “Xenophobia and Racism Affect Black School Children in Ireland,” http://www.rachelstavern.com/, January 13, 2009.
    Sarno, Niccolo, “‘One In Three’ Europeans Admit to Being Racist,” Inter Press Service (IPS), February 25, 1998.
    Sharrock, David, “Racism Fears As City School Opens for Black Pupils Only,” Times Online: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/, September 4, 2004.
    United States Immigration Support (an Independent Organization), “U.S. Dual Citizenship,” http://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/, January 17, 2009.
    Valente, Marcela, “Latin America: Women Immigrants Target of Xenophobia,” Third World Network: http://twnside.org.sg/, July 23, 2001.

    ReplyDelete
  25. There will always be anti-immigrant sentiments in countries around the world, especially among the ignorant and uneducated. However the majority of people are able to get along with immigrants. That is why there are about 192 million immigrants in the world today.

    http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/about-migration/lang/en

    The nature of modern industry with its ever increasing scale requires larger trading areas and access to markets. Hence the creation of the European Economic Community in 1957. See economist John Kenneth Galbraith's letter to President John F. Kennedy regarding this.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=yvPKHJ7HnkEC&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=kennedy+galbraith+european+community&source=bl&ots=N_FhKYRxxg&sig=e8WjJEsSN57wrM7ZJO7qUlLNQWQ&hl=en&ei=AYUOSsuEIJ7Itgen4a2BCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#PPA78,M1

    In addition there is specialization of labor in modern industry and multinationals move their employees from country to country, hence there will always be migration and it is a part of economic life. By migrating to where their skills are in demand, people are able to improve their economic condition.

    Conclusion: Due to the needs of modern industry and economies, there will always be migration, and it is rational to expect people to maximize the earning potential of their skills. Specialization of labor and the ability to use those skills improves the worker's standard of living.

    ReplyDelete
  26. “No citizen of Zambia shall qualify to be elected…if he or she holds the citizenship of any other country in addition to the citizenship of Zambia”

    A proviso against electing dual citizens, foreign citizens, or indeed anyone is at best unnecessary and at worst undemocratic: If the reasons you feel it is a bad idea are shared by the majority of the electorate, then they cannot be elected anyway, so the clause is unnecessary. However, if one day the circumstances should arise, as unlikely as they may seem today, where the majority of the electorate want an “excluded” candidate, then the constitution is in conflict with the will of the people – surely undesirable in a democratic society.

    I think we should be less concerned with restricting the people’s choices, and more concerned about empowering them to make informed ones.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Dominic,

    Find out whether dual citizens and foreign citizens in Britain can be elected or appointed to sensitive government positions such as the ones I have included in the restriction above. I do not think the British government would open up such positions to foreigners -- and am not aware of any country in the world today that is so reckless about its national security that it would do so.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Kyambalesa,

    I have already given examples in my comment on 14 May, above: In the US, Schwarzenegger holds an Austrian passport; a prime minister of Canada was also British; and in the UK, any resident from a commonwealth country (e.g. Zambia) can vote or stand for parliament. But you’ve missed the point (which was regarding elected positions only): Where is the sense of a clause in the constitution which can only be relevant when it is in opposition to the will of the Zambian electorate?

    Regarding non-elected positions which are sensitive, of course there has to be security checks. But presumably a Zambian who met the conditions of foreign citizenship (through foreign heritage or long stay in a foreign country) but didn’t excise the option poses as much of a threat to national security as someone who actually did have dual nationality. Obviously security checks are going to be a lot more wide-ranging than simply checking the nationality of the candidate! Is the constitution really the appropriate place to stipulate these background checks?

    Your proposed clause may combat brain drain, but it would be as equally effective against brain gain. The former may be a bigger issue for Zambia now, but what about 50 years from now? There needs to be a relatively flexible response to this issue, so again I would suggest that it is better tackled through laws outside of the constitution.

    In conclusion, I don’t think the suggested proviso is all bad – I would certainly rather have dual citizenship with the proviso than no dual citizenship at all – but that a constitution that should stand the test of time is not the best place for it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. HK,

    I've followed your argument. Thanks for elaborating further.

    Firstly, while I do appreciate the need to address the issue of dual-citizenship in the Constitution, I have some reservations in that we may be legitimising something which obviously has dubious origins. The security concerns advanced as reasons for the law are somewhat genuine (though I think Dominic has adequately dealt with it above), however you will agree with the evidence that this law has been misapplied more than anything else. One former Zambian ambassador to the US and now fugitive from Zambian justice, had dual-citizenship as it turned out.

    Therefore, I would rather leave it at paragraphs 1 and 2 you have quoted from the Mungomba Constitution.

    Secondly, you said:

    "1) It would function as a preventive measure against technical and professional personnel who are likely to seek citizenship in foreign countries in pursuit of a higher standard of living, and eventually return home to seek a reputable job."

    I beg to differ. Surely you don't need draconian rules for that??

    ReplyDelete
  30. Kafue,

    The India plan is very interesting. These are sort of fascinating alternatives we need to look.

    What is actually need is a study group which would assess the different systems...with diaspora involvement :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Cho,

    I thought so too. It would satisfy those who are concerned about allegiance and security, while at the same time satisfying the diaspora who have travel and residence concerns.

    ReplyDelete

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