Source: Mmegi (Gaborone)
The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2020 has finally beeen tabled before Parliament and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Selibe-Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse has called on the government to consider “Batswana to hold dual citizenship which is currently outlawed in Botswana.”
Debating the amendment of the Citizenship Act in Parliament recently, Keorapetse said dual citizenship is overdue and children reaching 18 years should remain Batswana even if they do not renounce other citizenships at age 18 or 21 years as a default position.
The Bill amongst others proposes to amend Section 15 of the Citizenship Act, which makes provision for dual citizenship up to the age of 21. It is proposed that Sections 9 and 15 of the Citizenship Act be amended by substituting the words 21 years with 18 years so that the provisions are consistent with the age of majority which has been reduced from 21 years to 18 years.
In December 2019, Parliament adopted a motion requesting the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs to amend the Citizenship Act to make it a default position that one retains the Botswana citizen unless they specifically renounce it. With the current Act, any person with dual citizenship automatically ceases to be a citizen of Botswana unless they renounce the other nationality upon reaching the age of 21 years.
“Let it be possible for one to hold dual citizenship. The time has come for the country’s economy to benefit something from the immigration policy. Dual citizenship should be used to advance the country’s economy and to raise national flag through giving citizenship to people with extraordinary abilities or acclaim like sports persons, creative artists, executives to mention but a few,” he said.