Report on citizenship law : Zambia

Published: 14/Dec/2020
Source: Global Governance Programme, European University Institute

by Kelly Kapianga

GLOBALCIT Country Reports; 2020/14

Defining what ‘citizenship’ is is a difficult task. This is because although there tend to be continuities, the markers of citizenship are often geographically bounded and vary from country to country. Often, it is easier to say how citizenship can be identified. In this regard, citizenship can be defined as the status under a legal system which grants an individual the greatest set of rights to political, civic, social and cultural participation in that country. In Zambia,some of the unique entitlements it grants an individual include the right to vote, be elected President, appointed Speaker of the National Assembly, to institute a court action to protect the constitution. The concept of citizenship and its trappings in Zambia are, however, a borrowed concept and not a purely Zambian creation. Therefore, to understand citizenship, a consideration of Zambia’s history and the various iterations of the concept of citizenship over time is in order.

Therefore, this report is divided into two parts. The first discusses the historical development of citizenship in Zambia. It will examine the ways in which various constitutions particularly between 1964 and 1996, and related laws have conceived of citizenship, how it can be acquired and lost. The second will discuss the current citizenship regime in Zambia, which was introduced by a constitutional amendment in 2016. The final will discuss some of the current political discussions around citizenship and the conclusion will provide a summary of the report.

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Loss and Deprivation of Nationality
Regions: Zambia
Year: 2020