Jus Soli or Jus Sanguinis? Diagnosing letters of law and official interpretation of Tanzanian citizenship by birth
Source: Eastern Africa Law Review
By Clement Bernardo Mubanga
Eastern Africa Law Review (University of Dar es Salaam) Vol.47, No 1, June 2021
This article examines the controversy underlying interpretation of the letters of law on what constitutes Tanzanian citizenship by birth, particularly after independence. The centre of controversy lies in the choice of the two basic modes of attainment of citizenship by birth, namely jus soli (right of soil or birth right citizenship without the condition of citizenship of parents) and jus sanguinis (right of blood or citizenship conditioned on parents’ citizenship status).Some secondary sources say the letters of law are jus soli based while official interpretation on the ground says they are jus sanguinis based. So far, there is no judicial interpretation of the convoluted letters of law under the Tanzania Citizenship Act Cap 357 R.E 2002. It is argued that the letters of law under the Tanzania Citizenship Act reflect the jus soli mode. The article proposes for amendment of the disputed provisions to align with what is actually obtainable on ground.