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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TweetThis! Tanzania set to adopt dual citizenship

Two weeks ago, Tanzania's former Minister for Home Affairs, Capt. John Chiligati, now Minister for Lands and Urban Development, said in an interview with the Voice of America that the government had reached an advanced stage in considering adoption of a dual citizenship policy.

That is welcome news for thousands of Tanzanians and non-Tanzanians alike living or wishing to live abroad, but have vested family and business interests in this country.

Chiligati said there are a few issues that are currently being finalized by Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, citing the issue of whether a person with dual citizenship could be allowed to run for president of either the United Republic of Tanzania or Zanzibar.

Thousands of Zanzibaris fled Zanzibar during the bloody revolution in 1964 to live permanently in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

This anticipated new development will place such people in a position to enjoy the best of both worlds. Thousands more from the mainland who left as students and never returned from Europe, the United States of America and Canada where they have amassed enough capital to return 'home' to invest it will also like the planned policy development. It also affects women who got married to non-Tanzanians but wish to regain their birth rights.

Dual citizenship is important because Tanzania's current law on citizenship forbids dual citizenship. One is either a Tanzanian or non-Tanzanian. This restriction has prevented thousands of people from returning to Tanzania to invest their wealth in their motherland. It could also mark the beginning of political participation in their home country by voting in presidential and parliamentary elections at foreign embassies.

Tanzanians living overseas have repeatedly told President Kikwete they wish to return to invest in Tanzania's economy which has a huge potential for growth in the services sector, hotels and hospitality, tourism, transport, agro-businesses, fishing and livestock sectors.

Info source: AllAfrica.com

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