Kenya’s new law bars dual citizens from holding diplomatic positions

Published: 19/Nov/2021
Source: The East African (Nairobi)


Kenya has enacted a new law that bars people holding dual citizenship from serving in the foreign service.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s assent to the law, which sponsored by the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations of Kenya’s National Assembly, means people who hold two citizenships must relinquish the foreign one before being eligible for appointment as ambassadors.

In the past, controversy arose after a dual national was nominated to be Ambassador to South Korea. The National Assembly in 2019 had approved the nomination of Mwende Mwinzi, but imposed a caveat that she could not report to duty until she renounces her American citizenship.

She then went to court, which ruled she could not renounce either of her citizenship as it was acquired by birth. The High Court, however, said ambassadorial positions were sensitive national assignments. Ms Mwinzi has since been appointed ambassador to South Korea.

The new law now seems to have closed the door on any other dual national from holding a similar position.

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Themes: Dual Nationality, Nationality of Politicians
Regions: Kenya
Year: 2021