Botswana – Bazezuru still in citizenship predicament

Published: 6/Feb/2014
Source: Botswana Gazette

By Sesupo Rantsimako

MANDUNYANE: Almost a year since the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Edwin Batshu promised to resolve the citizenship crisis of Bazezuru of Mandunyane, news reaching the North Cast is that the matter remains unresolved.

For the past years the tribe which originates from Zimbabwe has been at loggerheads with the government over their citizenship status. The tribesmen argue that their attempts to acquire identity cards and passports for their children proved futile because the immigration and national registration departments require them to denounce their Zimbabwean citizenship. The residents have expressed frustration at the government’s position and contended that it promotes discrimination and tribalism.

About a year ago Bazezuru raised the matter with minister Batshu who then promised to appoint a task force to deal with the matter as it was in his view complex. However, though the task team was given three months – up to June 2013 to advice the minister, the citizenship predicament remains unresolved.

“We appreciate the minister’s intervention even though it did not bring the results we expected. Most of us still cannot get help from immigration and national registration due to the dual citizenship alleged by the officers. Our citizenship remains a mystery despite the fact that our first generation has long passed; we don’t know what is expected of us because we were born and bred in Botswana,” an affected tribesman lamented.

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Themes: Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, ID Documents and Passports, Statelessness
Regions: Botswana
Year: 2014