Botswana: Official Explains Citizenship Renunciation Procedures

Published: 24/Sep/2019
Source: Botswana Daily News

By Esther Mmolai

Tsau — Baherero and Ovanderu who have shown interest in returning to Namibia have been advised to first acquire Namibian citizenship before renouncing their Botswana citizenship.

Ms Dimpho Mathumo of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship was explaining citizenship renunciation procedures to Tsau residents in a kgotla meeting recently.

She said they would need proof of citizenship, copy of birth certificate or affidavit in the absence of a certificate, two passport-size photographs and P10.

They would then be given forms to fill for renunciation of Botswana citizenship, she said. Ms Mathumo said the next step would be to hand in their Botswana passports and identity cards.

The Baherero and Ovanderu group learned that once they had complied with the requirements, the relevant minister would confirm the renunciation of Botswana citizenship in writing. She stressed the need for the group to follow the right procedure.

In addition, Ms Mathumo informed the meeting that renunciation of Botswana citizenship was captured under section 16 of the Citizenship Act.

Namibian embassy political analyst Ms Nomsa Uushona in turn explained the procedure for attaining Namibian citizenship.

She noted that it was agreed in a previous meeting that citizenship would be extended to those who had shown interest in returning to their roots in Namibia.

Ms Uushona stated that children under the age of 21 were not allowed to renounce citizenship saying they would be treated as permanent residents until they reached 21 when they would choose whether to remain Batswana or not.

She informed the gathering about the 2015 Namibian Citizenship Special Conferment Act, which provides for the conferment of Namibian citizenship upon certain descendants of persons who left Namibia owing to persecution by the colonial government that was in control of the country before 1915 and to provide for incidental matters.

The legislation states that any descendant of a person who is a Namibian citizen by birth or would have been such a citizen had he or she been alive; or had left Namibia owing to persecution by the colonial government which was in control of the country before 1915, is by virtue of commitment to the Namibian nation, entitled to acquire, at any time within a period of 10 years after the commencement of the act, Namibian citizenship in accordance with the law if such descendant does not qualify for such citizenship on any other ground.

It further states that a person who is entitled to Namibian citizenship in terms of the stated sub-section, may, within the period mentioned in that sub section and in the prescribed form, apply for registration as a Namibian citizen.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Acquisition by children, Naturalisation and Marriage, Nationality and Refugees
Regions: Botswana
Year: 2019